The non-stop hot temperatures and beating sun of spring and summer may have you retreating inside to your air-conditioned home. But, your yard doesn't quite have that luxury. It depends on you to look after your green grass and brightly colored flower beds through a heat wave. Here are our six tips for helping your yard survive the seasonal heat.
1. Be Prepared!
Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to help protect your beloved garden. The first is to plant plants somewhere shielded from sunlight such as by a tree or shrubs. Next is to keep your yard free of weeds. Weeds steal water and nutrients from the plants you actually want to see grow, so pluck those guys out of there.
2. Mulch, Mulch and More Mulch
Keep your soil cool and moist by protecting it with a layer of mulch. Spread a few inches of mulch out thoroughly around ground cover, making sure to avoid creating too thick of a layer that will suffocate a plant's roots. Also, be sure to keep mulch away from bases of trees to prevent diseases and rot.
3. Get Shady
Since your plants can't crawl into the shade, it's up to you to bring the shade to them – even your heat-loving plants. Provide shade using landscape burlap, a portable shade canopy, shade cloth or even a spare patio chair. All of these materials allow for airflow while keeping plants comfy and cool.
4. Water Early and Frequently
It's crucial to keep your landscape watered down through days of high heat if you want to protect them from wilting and sun
burn - yes, plants get sunburns too.
Try to water your landscape the day before a heat wave begins. Then, the best time to water your plants is in the mornings to give them the energy they'll need. Water at the plant's base to make sure water reaches the roots. Be sure not to overwater by keeping an eye out for soggy soil.
5. Spread that Compost
Since you can't cover your whole yard in mulch or shade, adding a layer of topsoil or organic materials like compost can keep your grass bright green. The topsoil keeps the ground layer moist by slowing down evaporation. But just like mulch, be sure not to create a thick suffocating layer.
6. Do Some Babysitting
Freshly planted seedlings will have a harder time handling the stress of the sun so pay extra close attention to those babies. Other vulnerable plants are those living their lives in pots. If you can't carry them in to sit in the AC with you, make sure they are getting more water and others. If you notice some of your plants getting a sunburn, check for any greenness left on the leaves, it's likely able to recover. Leave those sunburnt leaves to protect the healthy ones.
If a period of abnormally hot weather is about to threaten your yard, you now know what to do to save it. Hopefully, with these tips, you should keep your landscape looking healthy and happy all season long. But, if all this sounds like a little too much work for you, check out our blog on no-effort plants to foolproof your garden.