It's hot here in Phoenix. Really hot. Yesterday was 115* degrees. Today it was 115*. And the forecast consensus shows over 110* degrees for all of next week. YIKES!! If you think it's tough on us humans, be assured it's tougher on our plants. Remember, outside it's not only hot, but the sun is intense. If it's not a cactus, it's stressing.
One of the easiest ways to beat the heat (well, tolerate the heat) is simply installing shade cover. Just by reducing the amount of direct intense sun, life gets a little bit nicer for plants.
The set-up in my garden is quite rudimentary. It's not pretty, but it is effective, and it only took ten minutes to put in place. My new seedlings are much happier now.
This is all a temporary solution for current season. Since my back garden receives west exposure, I have a greater plan for future protection. In summer 2008 I planted some new trees (palo verde, bauhinia, crape myrtle, pomegranate) to create natural shade cover. By next summer 2010, too much sun will not be an issue for me.