Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Landscaping Tips

As temperatures rise with the summer months, especially in the sometimes sweltering Texas heat, the challenges of maintaining a healthy and thriving landscape can be daunting. Soil dries out, plants start to wither, and water restrictions may be imposed. That’s why it’s important to take preventative measures and water wisely so that your lawn, beds, trees, and gardens don’t suffer irreparable damage during the summer season.

Risky plants
Some plants are at higher risk than others during the hot, dry weather. Newly planted perennials, newly plants shrubs and trees, or flower beds must be maintained carefully to ensure their survival. Ask the experts at C4 Landscape & Design for advice on the best ways to help your specific at-risk plants get through the season.

Signs of dehydration
Watching for early signs of dehydration is one key to summer landscaping. Keep a close eye on your lawn and plants, and immediately attend to their watering needs if you notice potential problems. The most obvious sign to watch for is wilting, but here are some other tell-tale indicators of dehydration:
  • Leaf yellowing
  • Shriveled leaf areas
  • Browning leaf edges
  • Translucent leaves
  • Bluish-green foliage color
  • Early blossom dropping
  • Stems bending over
  • Grass and leaves curling upward
  • Slow growth

Watering advice
The best way to save your plants and lawn is to water them. At the earliest signs that your landscaping needs water, act fast instead of risking severe damage. To get the most out of your watering, here is some advice to keep in mind:
  • Water early for the highest efficiency. You’ll lose the least amount of water to evaporation when you water early in the morning. Evaporation is a big issue especially when you’re using sprinklers, as some of the moisture evaporates before it even hits the ground. This can be a real problem when you water during the hottest times of the summer day. You may choose to water in the evening, but that can bring an increased risk for diseases like moss.
  • Water evenly. Don’t ignore areas because they might be harder to reach.
  • Water deeper and longer instead of more in frequent, shorter time periods. Roots tend to follow water, so if the water only reaches the top, roots can collect near the soil’s surface. This increases their vulnerability to hot temperatures. To combat this, water less often but for longer amounts so that deep root growth is encouraged.
  • Avoid wasting your water with runoff. Make sure your sprinklers are aimed correctly and check on your landscaping now and then during watering. If you notice runoff occurring before you’ve reached a deep watering, turn the sprinklers off a while so the plants and lawn can absorb the water and then restart as needed.
  • Know the rules. Some communities in the Houston area and the Hill Country have water restrictions in place. Learn the specifics about any restrictions in your neighborhood, such as how often you can water or what time of day or for how long, and follow them. Even though this can be hard on your landscaping, it’s better to be a good citizen as well as avoid any fines or tickets.

Lawn tips
Your lawn may be the most noticeable thing about your home’s curb appeal at first glance. Here are some hints about keeping it looking its best:
  • Walk on your grass and if you leave footprints, your lawn could use water.
  • Squeeze your soil into a ball and if it keeps its shape, the soil has enough water. If you squeeze any water out of the soil, hold off on watering because it is overwatered.
  • Aerate your lawn yearly to minimize runoff and allow your soil to accept hydration better.
  • Lightly spray plants with water during the day to prevent spider mites, which are encouraged by heat and drought.
  • To prevent weeds and promote nutrient retention, add mulch around your plants. If weeds develop, remove them so they won’t suck up the water or nutrients that are intended for your plants.

The hot summer months don’t mean that your landscaping has to suffer. Be smart about maintaining your plants and lawn, and seek the help of C4 Landscape & Design if you have questions or concerns.

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