The Southeast often enjoys relatively temperate weather in May and June, but we all know that when July and August roll around, it’s gonna get hot in here. Since your landscaping doesn’t have the option of sipping iced tea on a shady porch, or plunging into a room blessed with arctic air conditioning, here are a few things we recommend to help them beat the heat.
Water, Water Everywhere
Last month we shared some tips to help prepare your trees for drought, including advice for mulching and deep watering for trees. (Two great methods for providing and retaining penetrative moisture.) But careful — and correct — watering methods are important even when drought is not a danger.
Not watering at all may in fact be better for your lawn than being inconsistent about it. Unless your county has watering restrictions, water no more than twice a week, and be sure to maximize moisture absorption whenever you do. Avoid watering during the brightest and hottest parts of the day (5:00 – 9:00 AM is ideal), but also in the evening. You may think the cooler, darker hours may provide the perfect watering conditions, but they actually can breed disease, including brown patch.
Seek Stress Reduction
Playing outdoors is a long-loved summer pastime, but believe it or not all that running around on the grass (even under the sprinkler) may tire your lawn out. Consider stepping stones in high-traffic areas, and giving your grass a break. Raising the blades on your mower — and keeping blades sharp — can also help, according to lawn care advisors at HGTV.
Even absorbing fertilizer may add stress to your plants. Stick to organic mulch, plant compost, or grass clippings until the weeks of most challenging heat have fully come to a close.
Pruning can be another source of strain on your trees and shrubs. We’ve advised in the past to keep your shears sheathed this time of year, and we stand by that advice today. Pruning essentially creates a wound in the tree, allowing pests to invade and cause infection. Unless absolutely necessary to remove a weakened branch or pest problem, hold off with any pruning until cooler temperatures prevail.
Remember too that trees native to your area will be more able to withstand the summer weather naturally. Learn more from experts like Trees Atlanta, or from our own Be A Georgia Tree Know-It All series!
Sling Some Shade
Your younger trees, and certain flowering bushes, may need extra coverage in extreme heat. While propping an umbrella over your live oaks may prove impossible, saplings and shrubs can benefit from a break in the heat wave with a little extra shade. Cardboard, bed sheets, tarps, and cheesecloth may make for strange lawn ornaments, but your plants are not particular. “The key is to make sure your shade props allow air to circulate freely around the plants,” advise the heat pros at The Los Angeles Times.
No matter how high the mercury gets this summer, taking these things into consideration now will help your plants survive and thrive. At Premier Tree Solutions, we’re here to provide advice and service to your trees in all seasons. Call us at 404.252.6448 or book an appointment with our arborists online.