7 Tips to Prepare Your Landscape for Summer
Be mindful of drought restrictions in your area when setting up a watering schedule. Install an automatic irrigation system to allow for consistent watering. Ask your landscaper about rainwater collection systems and xeriscaping to keep your veggies and plants hydrated without breaking the bank. If possible, try to water at night or in the early morning hours so the moisture does not evaporate in the heat of the day.
During the growing season, the first burst of color is usually seen in the springtime, followed by greening in the summertime. The high heat of summer brings an end to the colorful blooms of spring, but it lends itself to lush greenery in its place. One way to keep this color thriving in the summer is to consider planting heat-tolerant annuals. These plants need consistent watering to get established but once they have, they can provide nonstop color throughout the summer and early fall.
Mowing should be done about once per week. Mowing regularly keeps grass growing a neat, manicured looking turf. Growing the grass longer in the hottest parts of summer provides shade for roots and helps retain moisture in the soil. Grass should never have more than 1/3 of the blade cut at a time – this can cause structural damage that inhibits its growth.
Fertilizers supplement the nutrients that are already found in soil. It also keeps grass growing thick and lush. Fertilizer should be applied based on grass type and time of year. It is recommended that fertilizer be applied at least twice per year, preferably 4 to 5 times for some. Fertilizing should be repeated in late summer. Newer slow release type fertilizers work well in that they break down slowly and release over a longer period, so fewer applications are needed.
Mulching helps control soil moisture and helps regulate soil temperature. Mulch is full of beneficial soil nutrients and is also dense enough to protect roots from the sun. Spread a thin layer around the bases of plants during the height of summer heat. Remember not to have mulch over the trunk of trees or base of plant material as it can rot the plant over time. Mulching in conjunction with frequent watering will help ensure adequate hydration throughout the entire summer season.
Pruning Maintenance/ Herbicide:
Landscapes require a lot of care and maintenance during the summer when plants are actively growing. Keep in mind that just because turf turns brown does not mean it is dead. Warm season turf turns brown (goes dormant) in the cooler weather months. Spring / Summer is a great time to prune, as well. Pruning promotes healthy growth by eliminating limbs and branches that are dead, pest-ridden, or damaged. Care should also be taken to remove any crossing branches or limbs that extend over driveways, walkways, or other high traffic areas. Late Winter or early Spring is also a good time to get rid of weeds before they overtake your landscape. Applying an herbicide in the spring will help prevent germination of warm season weeds.
Inspecting & Controlling:
Spring is a good time to inspect your landscape and take any treatment and preventative measures needed. Flowers, bushes, shrubs, and trees should be inspected for such pests as aphids, grasshoppers, slugs, and snails and treated accordingly. Spring is also a good time to inspect your fruit trees for scab diseases and other potential concerns.