July is traditionally the hottest month of the year, no matter where you live. However, this July has been exceptionally hot and dry in Nebraska, making plants, trees, and shrubs vulnerable to weather-related damage.
How can you best care for your softscapes during the heat? A few tips are universal:
Mulch: Mulch insulates the soil and supplies a layer of protection for roots. A thick layer of mulch is typically applied early in the spring, so you may want to lay more mulch near new or vulnerable plantings if the first layer has started to settle or spread. Mulch will help keep the ground temperature low, even when the air temperatures go sky high.
Watering: Watering deeply with less frequency is preferential to multiple, shallow waterings. Deep watering means the water is reaching well into the roots, which are typically 6-8″ below ground level. Depending on your soil, how often you use your sprinkler system, and if the sprinkler heads hit your plants, watering deeply generally means 10-15 minutes of continuous, gentle soaking once or twice per week.
Pruning: Avoid pruning when temperatures are extremely hot and moisture levels are extremely low. Pruning puts added stress on plants, and those unsightly brown leaves have the benefit of offering a layer of protection to healthier leaves.
On the opposite end of the climate spectrum, plants need TLC in the extreme cold, too – most notably, your trees. Evergreens are true to their name; they are green year-round. However, in order to stay healthy, evergreens need protection. Throw a bucket of water on your evergreens when the temps are cold, which will support good tree health come springtime. Also, applying an anti-desiccant will help evergreens retain moisture; this should be done when winter temps are around 40 degrees.
It’s tempting to be “hands off” once your landscaping has been installed and begins to grow, but a little TLC during extreme heat (and cold) goes a long way toward protecting your investment.
Clear Creek Landscaping is an Omaha landscaping company comprised of experienced landscape design professionals. Whether you’re looking for backyard design in Omaha, an Omaha patio builder, an Omaha paver patio designer, or custom landscape design in Omaha, the team at Clear Creek Landscaping has the experience and knowledge to handle it all.