It’s the time of year when the air conditioning is cranked up and working outside is the last thing you want to do. Our region has experienced a mild and wet spring but summer is officially here and you can bet heat waves are in our future. While you can hide out in your AC, your landscape is stranded out there in the heat. How can you keep your landscape happy on the hottest of summer days? Follow these simple summer landscaping tips to help your plants survive the season.
Keep Your Landscape Hydrated
Landscapes, especially newly installed landscapes, can be vulnerable during dry, summer months, so maintaining a watering schedule based on the types of plants within your garden is essential. Look at the list below to see how often and for how long you should water your landscape.
No matter the plant, be sure that the water penetrates the roots. Lawn sprinklers are designed for grass, and are not the best choice for shrubs and flowers. This is because the water may stay on leaves and be evaporated before having the chance to reach the plant’s roots, or linger, inviting fungi to take residence on the plant.
In addition, help your landscape retain moisture by adding mulch around newly planted shrubs and trees.
Water in the early morning or late evening.
Most homeowners only think about fertilization during planting season, but certain varieties of plants can benefit from continual feeding throughout the hot season. The type of fertilizer you want is dependent upon the type of plant and your desired results. Plant food and fertilizers typically have three numbers listed on the label. These three numbers represent the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium respectively. As a general rule, fruiting plants – fruits and vegetables – will prosper better with a higher ratio of phosphorous and potassium, while foliage plants, like shrubs, will benefit from higher ratios of nitrogen within their fertilizers.
Summer Landscaping Tips by Plant
Water perennials, such as irises, hydrangeas, peonies and roses, for ten seconds twice a week during the summer. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for flowering plants. Roses, azaleas and hydrangeas prefer acidic fertilizers.
If the summer has been particularly dry, your annuals may need daily watering. Water for ten seconds, again, ensuring that the water penetrates the roots of the plant.
Water shrubs and bushes for thirty seconds each, twice a week. Holly bushes prefer acidic fertilizers, while leafy shrubs used for privacy will benefit from nitrogen-rich plant food.
Newly planted trees require much more water than smaller plants. Water your trees for three to five minutes twice a week during the summer. Evergreens and dogwoods benefit best from acidic fertilizers.
Summer Landscaping Tips for Your Lawn
Change the Height of Your Mower Blade
By allowing your grass to grow a bit longer, you are helping it survive the heat. When grass has been cut too short, it prevents the plants’ ability to photosynthesize or create their own food. If your grass has been growing for some time, and is considerably high, only cut one-third of its height. Wait a week, and continue to cut only one-third. Repeat until you have the desired length.
Sharpen Your Mower Blade
A dull blade won’t only mutilate your lawn, but can increase the damage to your grass caused by heat. A sharper blade helps your grass heal more quickly after being cut.
Leave Your Clippings Be
Unless your grass clippings are in danger of being blown into the street, storm drains or bodies of water, allow them to lie where they lay. The clippings will help to fertilize the remaining grass.
Resist the Urge to Fertilize, Aerate or Dethatch
Mixing high temperatures with fertilizer can harm your lawn and cause it to burn. Lawn aeration and dethatching should be avoided because it adds to the stress of the plants.
Don’t Flood Your Lawn
Water your lawn regularly, but not every day. Constant watering can weaken the grass and turn your yard into mud.
Check One More Thing Off Your List
Does the pressure of maintaining your lawn seem too much? Would you rather have professional, certified landscapers take care of everything than try to remember these summer landscaping tips? Contact Hively for a free consultation today!