There is a lot that can be done in late May to early June to keep your landscaping looking great during the hot summer months. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to prepare for summertime.
Check for Winter Landscape Survivors
First, check your favorite plants for any winter damage. If they appear dead however, make sure not to be too quick to dig them up. First, check closer to the surface of the soil, and you may see signs of life returning. Otherwise, it’s a good time to rip them out and replace with new ones. Cold weather flowers such as pansies will start looking a bit thin and tired as the days get hotter. Early May to June is the best time to pull these out, till the soil and replace with warm weather flowers. If you haven’t done this yet, June is still not too late. When planting containers and annual beds be sure to work the soil with a slow release fertilizer. The beads will break down slowly giving the flowers the nutrients they needs for the next 3 to 4 months. You can also sow seeds of zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers directly into flower beds for a pretty burst of color. Also, spring flowering shrubs such as azaleas forsythia, quince and spirea have just finished blooming, so now it a good time to trim them back if they’re getting too large.
Watering for the Dog Days of Summer
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your beautiful landscaping from the damaging high temps and long days of drought. The average temperature for Charlotte in July is a scorching 90 degrees with only 3.6 inches of rain for the month. These conditions can lead to widespread damage to your favorite botanicals, grass, and trees. Strategically timed hydration with an irrigation system is a lifesaver but it must obviously must be planned and installed ahead of time and programmed properly. If your landscaping does not have an irrigation system, a good old fashioned sprinkler will do the trick if you’re willing to time the watering and move the sprinkler to areas most needed. Homeowners need to keep in mind that it’s best to water in the morning rather than at night to avoid starting a fungus in the lawn. It’s also good to keep in mind that anything less than 20 minutes several times a week is not enough time to saturate the ground and is a waste of time and water.
Mulch Can Be Your Best Friend
Mulch is one of the greatest ways to battle the summer heat. Add at least a couple of inches of mulch to your plant beds. This not only saves water by retaining moisture and reducing evaporation, it also encourages plant growth. In addition to the functional benefits of mulch, it also looks great and makes your plants pop.
Install Drought Tolerant Landscaping
If your yard gets full sun with very little shade then you may want to avoid planting certain delicate beauties such as delphiniums, hydrangeas, hostas and ferns which prefer cool moist shaded areas and do not tolerate dry heat well.
For long term success in hot, sunny areas there are more durable plants that can handle the heat. Check out other beautiful and bright alternatives perfect for full sun summer landscape such as daylilies, verbena, lambs ear, dianthus, lavender, shasta daisy or hibiscus. These tried and true flowers love the sun and will provide you with the lush, flourishing outdoor area you were hoping for.
If your landscaping needs attention contact Coogan’s Design-Build to schedule a free consultation with one of our landscape architects. We would love to help you plan your backyard paradise!