Heavy Heat Landscaping Tips
As we rapidly approach the dog days of summer, you may notice that your plants are drooping and your lawn is looking a little brown. Keeping in mind your budget and maybe a few things you can learn from your neighbors’ local landscaping companies portfolio, consider what it takes to make a yard stand out and also. With that being said, while you can’t control the weather, you can take a few steps to ensure that your plants weather–no pun intended–any challenges the climate throws at them. Here are a few ideas for landscaping in the intense summer heat.
1. Plant wisely
When you are preparing your planting sites, be sure you choose them with a bit of forethought. Choose a spot that has plenty of morning sunlight to dry the dew, but also provides good afternoon shade. This will help moderate temperature and moisture throughout the day
2. Consider adding shade cloth
Shade cloth helps mitigate the effects of harsh sunlight on your plants, especially when you are planting in a wide-open area that does not receive shade throughout a majority of the day. Shade cloth allows you to moderate the impact of the sun as needed to ensure your plants are receiving adequate quantities of- but not too much – sun.
3. Mulch liberally
Mulch is a great way to control weeds and also to fight the battle against the encroaching summer heat. By applying a few inches of mulch to your flower and vegetable beds, you can help lower the temperature in the soil and also moderate the moisture level.
4. Water early in the day
While water at any time of the day is better than no water, try to water early in the morning, any time before ten a.m will do. This is when the sun’s rays become harshest and water will evaporate more quickly before it has a chance to really soak in. Avoid watering late in the evening, as this won’t give the plants enough time to absorb the water before it gets dark. This increases your likelihood of diseases like powdery mildew and other fungal growths.
5. Water intelligently
You might also consider setting up a drip irrigation system, or, if that’s out of your price range, an inexpensive sprinkler system. If you live in an area that imposes watering sanctions, a manually operated sprinkler system will allow you to control when the plants are watered, without having to hand-water each and every one. A drip irrigation system is the best option, offering a steady, balanced flow of water to plants throughout the day.
If an irrigation system isn’t in your budget or planning capacity, just be thoughtful when you water your garden. Water densely, but only periodically. You don’t need to provide your plants with a light drizzle every single day. Instead, opt for a deep soaking every other – or every third – day to ensure water is reaching your plants’ thirsty root systems.
7. Don’t mow your lawn as often
A short, frequently mowed lawn is more susceptible to being scorched by the sun. It’s okay if you want to mow every week – and this is advisable, as trimmed grass will prevent the plants from sending energy into dead or damaged blades – but make sure you are cutting it tall. Keep the grass at least three inches during the hottest summer months to protect the plants’ roots.
8. Select drought-tolerant plants
When you’re planning out your garden, try to select plants that withstand harsh conditions with ease. In a vegetable garden, plant hot-season vegetables like eggplant, chili peppers, and sweet potatoes. Avoid cold-season crops like carrots and peas, or wait to plant until fall.
Plant drought-tolerant species that are indicated for the hottest conditions in your growing zone, or consider tropical bulbs, like elephant ears and ginger. These bulbs can be pulled and replanted the following year, and also do well in containers or raised beds.
The best practice is to keep a watchful eye on your landscape. In the heat of summer, the condition of your lawn and garden can change in a snap. It is easier for your plants to fall victim to weeds, rot, drought, or pests,so pay attention to the weather and keep an eye out for plants that seem to be struggling.
Don’t lose your gorgeous, hard-earned landscape to a vicious heatwave this summer. Instead, follow these few easy steps to keep your lawn and landscape looking fresh and verdant no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.