Your Plants are Thirsty. Do You Hear Them?
We’re heading into the season where warm, sunny days are frequent … and rain, far less so.
Most lawns in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI, can withstand summer’s drought (we’ll cover this topic next week). Landscaping plants might not.
Unlike grass, plants don’t go dormant during extended dry periods. They survive or die. Too long without water, and you’ll have to buy replacements next year.
How can you nurse landscaping plantings through summer’s rough patch? Follow these tips to keep them green and growing:
- Be observant: Walk through your landscaping once or twice a week to spot troubled plants. Symptoms are curled leaves, disappearing color or general lifelessness. Don’t wait to water these.
- Water proactively: During times of extended heat, perennials, shrubs and trees should get approximately an inch of water per week.
- Water smartly: Allow soil to dry out between waterings. Perennials actually strengthen their roots by searching for moisture. Don’t water when it’s too hot, either. The moisture can absorb heat and warm the soil, which harms roots.
- Use the right tools: A soaking hose is most effective for watering planting beds, or a sprinkler where spray can be controlled and directed. The goal is to saturate soil in the entire planting area, and avoid erosion.
- Timing is important: Morning is the best time to water plants because evaporation is minimized. If you water late in the day or at night, the combination of dampness and darkness can cause disease and root rot.
- Where are they?: Plants in sunny areas need more water than those in shady spots. Plants in baskets or pots dry out really fast, and should be watered at least every other day. Young plants require more water, too.
- Monitor mulch: We’ve touched on this before: Mulch retains soil moisture. If you add mulch, be careful about the type used!
While we enjoy summer’s warmth for its breadth of outdoor activities, it’s not an easy time for landscape plants. Pay attention to their needs now, and you’ll be able to keep enjoying them long after summer ends.
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