Landscaping during the hot months of summer can bring about a variety of challenges including high temperatures and drought. When we enter a heatwave it is important to keep up on your landscaping to prevent permanent damage. A heatwave is classified as 3 or more days with 90 degree plus weather.
- Watering in the early morning hours before 8 AM will help increase water efficiency. Watering in the morning allows plants to soak up the water and keep them hydrated longer throughout the day when temperatures hit their highest points. It will also help decrease the chance of disease, which can occur when watering in the evening before nightfall.
- Apply mulch. Mulch is essential to reduce water evaporation and soil temperature. Mulch also helps prevent weeds which will compete for water.
- Weed your flower beds. This is essential as weeds compete with surrounding plants for water.
- Mow your grass as tall as possible during a heatwave with sharp blades. Mowing longer and more frequent will help prevent your lawn from becoming scalped. Most lawns should be kept above 2.5 inches after being mowed, 3-4″ is the ideal height. Short lawns also have shallow root systems and do not tolerate heat or drought well.
- Never cut off more than 1/3 of your lawn at a time. This stresses your lawn and increases the risk of disease and pest.
- If possible upgrade to a drip irrigation system, this type of irrigation is much more effective. If you cannot afford to upgrade your irrigation system a soaker hose or 5 gallon bucket with holes punctured in the bottom and set by your trees and bushes will work just as well. This is essential for any newly planted shrubs or trees. Older trees and shrubs have more established root systems and can adapt easier to these conditions.