It happens every year, about this time: it gets hot. Really hot.

We shouldn’t be surprised by it, but somehow we are. We complain, we hide in air-conditioned comfort and, too often, we leave our plants to suffer.

A while ago, we got the idea that a lawn can go dormant (ie turn brown and look like it’s dead) at the height of summer, then somehow miraculously spring back to life in fall or, maybe, next spring.

It ain’t so. If you let your grass turn brown, it doesn’t just look dead, it is dead.

Grass — like any other plant —needs water. Especially when it gets hot, like it always gets in July. And sometimes August. Maybe even the beginning of September.

So, here’s the drill:

Unless we get lots of rain, water your lawn deeply once a week, more if you have sandy soil. Do not — under almost any circumstances — fertilize your lawn. That will only stress it more than the weather.

Pay special attention to container plants, including those looky ones hanging from in your porch or patio. They suffer not only from the heat, but also from the wind, which can dry them out. Check them at least once a day, more if it stays hot. Because you’re watering more often, you also may need to fertilize more frequently.

In the garden, pay attention to plants in full sun. Also, plants with large flat leaves (think hydrangeas) are among the most susceptible to heat waves. If you see their leaves start to flag, water immediately.

And don’t forget about shrubs and trees. They need a drink now and then, too.

There are all sorts of best practices for watering — water in the morning before it heats up, use a soaker hose, etc.

But the best of the best practices is just to water.

Then you can hide inside.