Summer is in full swing, and Mother Nature is keeping us guessing on the weather this season! From brutally hot temperatures and droughts to rain and flash flooding, we’ve experienced a wide array of conditions so far. Your landscaping is also at the mercy of the weather, but there are things you can do to help mitigate the damage of extreme weather.
Make the Most of the Heat
Hot weather can be brutal for your landscaping. Wilting flowers, brown leaves, and lackluster blooms are telltale signs that your plants are suffering from the heat. Drought-like conditions also make your plants susceptible to bugs and disease. It may sound bleak, but there are actions you can take to revive your landscaping in the intense heat.
First, make sure you’re watering your plants regularly. A good rule of thumb is one inch of moisture per week. You want to make sure that you thoroughly soak your plants instead of watering them less but more frequently. That method of watering can stunt root growth. If the first six inches of your soil is dry, it’s time to water your plants. Another rule of thumb is to water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening so that the intense heat doesn’t evaporate the water too quickly and cause damage. You’ll also want to keep an eye on weed growth. Weeds in your landscaping can steal valuable moisture from the soil.
Next, to keep your flower beds cooler and lock in more moisture during intense heat, consider mulching your landscaping beds. Applying 2 to 3-inches of mulch over your soil. Mulching can also decrease the risk of fungal diseases. To maximize the moisture, one option is to run a soaker hose underneath your mulch. The soaker hose delivers water directly and at a steady pace. This helps the roots absorb the moisture and prevents the moisture from burning off too quickly. Keep in mind that using a soaker hose too frequently can lead to over watering and adverse effects for your landscaping.
Finally, you’ll want to press pause on fertilizers during a drought. Fertilizers encourage plant growth, which increases the need for watering. Without rain or moisture to wash off the fertilizer, a substance called fertilizer salt can build up on plants and burn the roots and leaves or even kill the plant.
When the Rain Falls
It’s common knowledge that rain is great for your landscaping. Nothing can water your plants quite like natural rainfall. However, heavy rains, especially over several days, are counterproductive for your plants. If the forecast calls for heavy rain, be proactive by taking the following steps to protect your landscaping.
First, prior to the rain take the time to remove any dead limbs, shoots, or blooms from your plants. This will help alleviate the damage caused by those parts being tangled in your plant during a storm. The idea is to make your plant as streamlined and sturdy as possible. For taller plants, consider staking them with wooden or metal posts. Gently tie your plant to the post to support it during high winds and rain.
Next, you’ll want to address the possibility of water pooling at the base of your plants. Plants left in standing water can easily succumb to root rot and die. Make sure that there’s adequate drainage away from your plants and that the pathway for the drainage is clear of debris.
Finally, if your landscaping includes delicate flowers and plants, consider protecting them with a waterproof covering. This is also useful for protecting herbs and vegetables. Be sure that your covering is slanted so that the rainfall can drain away from your flowerbed or garden.
Whatever weather comes our way over the next weeks of summer, you can protect your landscaping by following these tips. The Shreckhise Shrubbery team is also here to help with whatever questions or landscaping needs you might have. Stop by or give us a call!