Summer Lawn and Landscaping Tips
One of the most challenging seasons for growing plants and maintaining lawns is during the summer. As the temperatures rise, plants begin to wither and soil starts to dry. Worse, some cities and communities impose water restrictions making lawn soil and plant hydration more difficult.
If this continues, plants, flowers, trees, lawns and gardens may undergo severe and irreparable damages. It is therefore essential to create precautions and implement wise watering measures to keep your lawn and plants alive during this season.
Although all plants are affected by this hot and dry weather, there are those that would suffer severe damages especially when left unattended in a drought. Determine any that are highly at risk and have them on top of your priority list. Examples are as follows:
- Newly planted trees and shrubs
- Newly planted perennials
- Flower beds
- Dehydration Symptoms
Evaluate your lawn and plants and search for early signs of dehydration. It is very important to attend to your lawn and plants’ immediate water needs. The most common sign of dehydration is wilting; however, some may show the following symptoms in addition:
- Bluish-green color foliage
- Upward curling of grass blades and leaves
- Yellowing of leaf
- Translucent leaves
- Shriveled leaf sections
- Browning of leaf edges
- Premature blossom drop
- Slow growth
- Stems keel over
The best thing to keep your lawn and plants alive and hydrated is of course to water them. Here are some watering tips that would help maximize your watering efficiency during this hot season. Consider the following:
Know your community’s water restrictions. Cities and communities have imposed water restrictions as a response to water shortages. Although this can be tough on your plants and lawns, it’s best to follow these restrictions to avoid costly problems. First, know the details of your water restrictions – know how many times a week are you allowed to water your lawn, for how long and at what time.
Water early in the morning. Although plants and lawns can be watered any time of the day, it is still more efficient to water them early in the morning. When you use sprinklers, some water evaporates even before reaching the ground. Given the hot conditions during the summer months, the lost amount of water can be significant to your lawn. But when you water your lawn early in the morning, the least amount of water is lost through evaporation.
Watering your lawn and plants in the evening could also work, however, it would encourage the development of plant diseases such as moss.
Water at the early signs of dehydration. Don’t let the heat take its toll on your lawn. Don’t wait for your plants to get severe damages before you water them. Water at the early signs of dehydration. This is when leaves and grasses are still green but turns dull and yellowish at the edges and margins. Also, when watering, remember to do it evenly.
Water deeply but less frequently. Roots have the tendency to follow water. If you frequently water your lawn and plants shallowly, the roots tend to collect up near the top of the soil surface. This makes them vulnerable to hot weather. Most shallow roots get baked at the end of the summer season. To prevent this, water your lawn and plants deeply but less frequently. Encourage deep root growth but at the same time, make sure that you apply sufficient water to penetrate root zones. Here are some tips to consider:
- Apply 1 gallon of water per 1 foot of root zone once a week. (Although this may vary according to soil type and plant or lawn type).
- Larger plants have larger root zones. Usually, their roots expand to a width of at least equal to their plant height.
- Lawns usually need 1 inch of water every week. However, during hot seasons, they can still survive with about ½ inch of water.
- Re-water sandy soils sooner than clay-rich soils
- Apply water around the base of flowers, vegetables and herbs so that water infiltrates into the root zones.
Avoid runoff. Runoffs are a waste of water. Create necessary adjustments and make sure that your sprinklers are aimed at the lawn or plant beds. Also, closely monitor your lawn and plant beds during watering. If you see that it begins to runoff even before you’ve given a deep watering, turn off your sprinklers for a while and let your lawn turf and plants absorb the water. You may then continue watering as necessary.
As much as possible, avoid overhead watering devices. Viable watering device alternatives are slow soakers, drip hoses and small sprinklers. They distribute water closely to the ground, reaching the root zone of your lawn and plants more efficiently.
Some Useful Tips to Remember
Here are some valuable lawn care tips that you might want to consider.
- If footprints appear longer on the lawn, your lawn turf needs watering.
- Squeeze a handful of soil into a ball. If it is damp and holds its shape, the soil is adequately watered. If you can squeeze out water from the soil, it is overwatered.
- Consider aerating your lawns once a year to enhance soil penetration rate and minimize runoff problems.
- Spray plants with water during daytime to avoid spider mites development. Drought and heat encourage spider mites infestations.
- Mulch around plants to prevent weed growth. It also helps in retaining soil nutrients and moisture.
- Remove weeds as they compete with water and nutrients.
Don’t get too stressed when summer comes. Be a wise homeowner and find viable solutions to keep your plants and lawn healthy throughout the hot season.
How to Water Your Lawn and Install a Drip Irrigation System
Of course, with the proper sprinkler system in place it’s even easier to beat the summer weather and keep your lawn and landscaping plants looking good.