When the dog days of summer arrive and everything starts to wilt, including you, it can be tempting to quit on your Pleasant Valley, NY, yard. But this is the time to adjust your outdoor landscaping activities wisely. Here are some tips to help.
Don’t Stop Watering
If your grass is looking dry and brown and your shrubs are a little wilty, don’t stop watering your landscape. Remember that the ideal time to water is very early in the morning so that there is plenty of time for the water to soak in before the sun gets really hot. Early morning watering also means that the least amount of evaporation occurs so most of the moisture is absorbed.
But you also don’t want to overwater under the assumption that more is better because there is only so much water that your landscape can absorb. Continue the early watering that gives your grass and other plants enough water that sinks into the ground around 3-4 inches. If your lawn isn’t look its best right now, it’s possible it is actually dormant and preserving nutrients and water.
Feed Your Landscape
Your ideal landscape schedule may involve fertilizer only in the spring and fall, but you may find that a mid-summer feeding would replenish the nutrients that it has used to green up as the weather warms up. This is a job best left to the pros as you do not want to over-fertilize and burn the plants and grass. The right ratio of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate must be used for the health of your plants and soil.
In the hottest part of the summer, grass doesn’t grow as quickly as it does in the spring when it is coming back from the winter weather. Everything moves slower in the heat, including the grass growth. Your landscaper will likely use a very high blade setting at this time. If the lawn is mowed too low, the roots are exposed to the heat of the sun and can burn, causing your grass to die. Keeping your grass level high prevents too much of the sun beating down on the fragile roots that need protection.
An additional layer of mulch for your plants and trees can help to hold the moisture and keep the soil cooler. Filling with a top layer of mulch not only helps your landscape that is stressed from the heat, but it also looks really nice and can be just the perk your yard needs.
Pruning in the hottest part of the summer can mean that your trees won’t have enough protection from the leaf cover. Any open pruning spots on the branches leave a place for disease and pests to find a home. Unless your trees and shrubs have broken limbs or branches, it is best to save pruning for when the plants are dormant and no longer in the growth season.
Protect the Gardener
Don’t forget to protect yourself in these hot summer months, especially if you are prone to overdoing it outdoors. Your landscaping company can take over gardening tasks that become too much for you in the summer or no long interest you.