Excessive Heat And Your Garden

Hot weather obviously affects garden plants, lawns and vegetable plants, but there are things you can do to protect them. A prolonged heat wave can be disastrous for all the hard work and money spent to have a beautiful garden, only to see it wither up and die.

Here are some tips to help you help your landscape survive.

Trees and Shrubs 

Newly planted trees and shrubs are the most sensitive to heat and drought damage. Special care should be taken to establish good root systems on plants one or two years old. Deep watering is best. Leave the hose running at a trickle for 5-10 minutes at the base of the plants to let it soak well into the soil. Avoid spraying the foliage with water on hot afternoons as this will lead to leaf scorch. A good mulch base helps insulate the roots but too little (less than an inch) does not help much and too much (over three inches) keeps water from soaking in.

Lawns 

Lawns require 1-2 inches of water per week. It is best to water in the early morning so that the leaves can thoroughly dry and reduce the chance of fungal diseases. Many grass varieties naturally go dormant (turn brown) during periods of high temperatures. This keeps the grasses from extreme desiccation. They will naturally green up when cooler temperatures and moisture returns.

Vegetables 

Vegetable plants require adequate water at all stages of development. Without it, blossoms will drop and yields will decline. These plants generally require 1-2 inches of water per week. Like other plants, avoid getting water on the foliage, target the root zone. A good compost base at planting will also help conserve moisture.

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