Now that the warmer weather is headed our way, many people start to worry how their lawns and gardens are going to survive the heat. However, with some planning and a little work, you can help ensure that your landscaping remains beautiful and attractive all summer long.
The number one key to plant survival is water. However, you want to make sure that you use your water efficiently. Wasting water does little for your yard, your environment, and your water bill. If you live in an especially hot or dry area, be sure that you are aware of any watering restrictions in your area due to drought.
The first step in efficient watering is to check your system. Sprinkler heads should be examined for leaks and for broken areas. You also want to look out for any heads that have sunk or that have become misdirected.
If your watering system is automatic, make sure that you set the timer for both the date and time that you want your yard and garden to be watered as well as for the duration of the watering. If you do not have an automatic system, then set a kitchen timer or cell phone alarm to let you know when to stop. Avoid watering during the midday hours (when the sun will evaporate the water) or when it is super windy.
During times of extremely hot temperatures, your lawn will need a deep soak twice a week. This deep soak is better for the condition of your lawn as well as for you water bill. If you have Bermuda, zoysia or buffalo grass, you have the advantage that the grass can go dormant during dry spells and then turn back to green when it has access to water or rain.
For your gardens, try adding a layer of mulch to improve water retention. The mulch will help slow the evaporation process, which means your beds will retain more moisture. Deep irrigation is the best watering choice for flowerbeds, but you can also use drip lines or leaky hoses. Be sure, however, that if you choose to use a leaky hose, that you limit the water pressure. A general guideline is to turn the faucet one quarter of a turn.
To maximize the productivity of your garden, consider choosing plants and flowers that are well suited to full sun and hot temperatures. Some choices include sunflowers, zinnias, fire bush, vincas, moss roses, lantanas, purslane, esperanza, and poinciana.