Spring has left Southwest Michigan lush and green after several doses of rain and cool temperatures. Now, though, we've ushered in the official first day of summer along with the chance of dry weather that can leave your lawn and garden parched. Help vegetation around your home or business stay strong using these five strategies.
1. Much ado about mulch
Mulch is normally celebrated for its effective weed management ability that keeps things looking clean and sharp. But it also plays an important role in plant health when the thermostat rises. First, mulch holds moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation. Second, it shades plant roots, keeping them cooler in the scorching sun. When watering mulched beds, it is important to do so long enough for the water to penetrate the mulch and reach the roots.
2. Plants that live well on a water budget
When it comes to water, some plants are downright needy while others are pleasantly tolerant of – and dare we say, even prefer – drier conditions. By incorporating areas of drought-tolerant plants into your landscape, you can reduce the need to water while enjoying a variety of blooms and garden textures. A few of these beautiful varieties that march through the dog days like champs include Russian sage, lavender, sedum, and yarrow. The same strategy works for your lawn by seeking out hardier grasses that can stand up to lower amounts of water.
3. Beneficial waters run deep
It may seem smart to give your lawn a 10- to 15-minute daily drink of water throughout the summer, but this can do more harm than good. Much of the water evaporates; the rest reaches only the surface of the soil. This promotes shallow root growth and grass that is fragile in the face of weather extremes. A better strategy is to water deeply once or twice a week, applying one-half inch of water each time to encourage roots to stretch down. In sandy soil, water a little more, in clay soil a little less. To determine how long you need to water, place a 9” x 13” baking pan in the sprinkler’s path and watch the clock until you reach one-half inch of water in the pan.
4.The grass is greener on the other side of the tree
A few well-placed trees can keep grass greener by giving it a daily break from the rays of the sun. Shaded surfaces can be anywhere from 20 to 45 degrees cooler than peak temperatures in unshaded areas. This reduces moisture evaporation and lowers the ambient temperature in your yard. By working with an experienced team of landscapers – like Creative Landscaping – tree selection and placement can be optimized for a mix of shade and sunshine.
5. Slow and steady wins the race
Despite the satisfying feeling you get as you watch the sprinkler blanket your gardens in glistening droplets, you could be using more water than you have to, yet leaving your plants thirsting for more. A more effective method of watering is drip irrigation, which gradually and uniformly delivers water at the root level and reduces water waste.
If you need help getting your lawn and garden ready to beat the heat, give the Creative Landscaping team a call. We can help with mulching, garden design, plant and tree selection, installation and planting to make your home or business more beautiful in every season. Drop us an email or call us at 269-473-1356 to get started.