|Don't let your garden look like this|
Never water your garden during the heat of the afternoon. Water droplets reflect heat and scorch the plants foliage. Always water during early morning or late evening hours. Better yet if at all possible buy a 75ft soaking hose and lay it through the middle of the garden. Turn it on for about twenty minutes every morning. Your sure to get plenty of water to the right places.
Aerate the ground. Soil that has become hardened during the hot days of summer will only allow run off of water. Use a rate or hoe to loosed up the dirt to allow proper soaking to the right areas of crops.
Mulch Mulch Mulch. The thicker the mulch the more beneficial it will be. No need to spend a lot of money on high dollar products. Save grass clippings, swept up leaves and other foliage from your own yard. Be careful though. You don't want to attract weeds or bugs so treat the mulch with a mixture of water and vinegar before you lay it to protect against unwanted extras. Allow the clippings to set a few days. They are most useful after they have turned brown. Mulch helps retain moisture in the ground and protects roots from over heating in the sun.
Provide plenty of shade. Morning sun is always best for crops. In the afternoon while the sun is at its highest crops will continue to thrive best if given shade. Utilize available shade by planning ahead while planting your garden. Trees are an obvious option. If no trees are available create your own shade buy building a fence, or adding wood planks around the outer edge.
Continue to take advantage of compost and rainwater. Both of these techniques give a boost to your garden with proper nutrition. They also provide relief to the environment. It's a win win situation for you and your garden. For more information see my blog pots on the Benefits of Compost (http://homelifeideas.blogspot.com/2012/03/benefits-of-compost.html) and the Advantages of Rainwater (http://homelifeideas.blogspot.com/2012/03/advantages-of-rain-barrel-water.html).
Be prepared and plan ahead. It's no surprise that the heat will arrive without notice. Don't wait until your crops are already damaged. Take precautions at the first hint of 90 degree or better weather. Be dedicated to your garden and it will continue to thrive. Most of all don't sit back and give up with a feeling of helplessness. There is still plenty of gardening to be done.