22 Jul Best Plants and Practices to Beat the Heat
Here in Delaware County, PA, and the surrounding area the summer heat has definitely arrived. Just looking into the extended 7-day forecast for the area shows temperatures will be in the 90’s with excessive heat advisories. These temperatures make working, or playing, outdoors uncomfortable and dangerous if you don’t exercise common sense. Not only does the heat take its toll on our outdoor activities, it can also takes impact our landscapes if your trees and plants were not designed with heat tolerance in mind. It’s difficult to imagine day after day of 90-plus degree temperatures. So imagine how your plants and trees must feel as their roots cling to nothing but parched, dry soil.
Many areas of the U.S. are breaking heat records this summer and as you sweat it out in the yard, tirelessly tending to your plants, it seems you merely blink and, in an instant, the moisture dries up. Your trees and plants may also suffer from stress in the form of drooping, curling and browning leaves; premature fall color; leaf drop; or weakened root systems. Properly watering of your lawn, trees and shrubs and other landscape plants can help your landscape better cope with heat’s wrath; proper care and maintenance also strengthens root systems making plants less susceptible to heat stress, and other problems that can result, such as insect and disease infestation.
Cider Mill Landscapes takes your specific landscape requirements into consideration when putting together a landscape design. We realize each landscape is just as unique as the client. Property that has a dense amount of trees and naturalized areas may stay cooler and more moist than those with direct sun. Even the dynamics of your property such as the slope or any low-lying areas can play a factor in how much attention it needs. In cases where the landscape is subject to direct sunlight for longer period of time, we often suggest using landscape material that is drought-tolerant and heat-friendly. These include: trees — Maple, Fir, Dogwood, Alder, Ginkgo and Hackberry; shrubs — Virburnum, Spirea, Lilac, Japanese Holly, Weigela, St. Johnswort and Flowering Quince. Additional these perennials and low-growing specimens are also drought-tolerant in our area such as Yarrow, Lavender, Salvia, Phlox, Sedum and Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina).
Even in yards that have irrigation systems, it may be necessary to enforce extra irrigation periods. Excessive heat and humidity can cause damage to your lawn and landscape without implementing proper watering techniques and care. Here are a list of tips from Cider Mill Landscapes:
Take these steps to ensure the health of your landscape:
- Water your plants early in the morning
Mornings are cool, and water will not evaporate as readily as it does in the heat of the afternoon. Evenings are cool, too, but water sitting on leaves overnight can lead to fungal diseases.
- Water less frequently, but deeply
Frequent, shallow waterings lead to weak, shallow-rooted plants. Less frequent, thorough watering encourages roots to grow deep, where the soil stays moist longer.
- Water the soil, not the plants
Use a watering can, soaker hoses, drip irrigation or other water-conserving irrigation technique that saturates the soil while leaving the foliage dry.
As is the case when establishing any new landscape, early spring and fall are the optimal times to install new plant material. Cooler ground, milder temperatures and adequate precipitation will enable plants to establish a healthier, more resilient root system. With every landscape design we install, we also mulch the areas with a two- to three-inch layer of organic mulch such as shredded hardwood mulch, bark or pine straw. This amendment not only showcases your new plants, it also slows evaporation by shading the soil and slows water runoff.
Let Cider Mill Landscapes help you select plants, shrubs and trees that are drought and heat-tolerant, yet look spectacular. If you are in the Media PA, Garnet Valley PA, Glen Mills PA, Rose Valley PA, Swarthmore PA and Wilmington area in Delaware, give us a call at 484.574.4666. You can also email us at [email protected].