A big thank you to Trent Brown from Vandenberg's Landscape Design for contributiong this timely and informative blog post with tips for designing and maintaining your lawn to withstand hot dry summer weather!
Keeping your yard looking healthy during extremely hot weather and drought can be a challenge. Below are a few tips to help your landscape look it’s best this summer.
Water Early in the Morning
Between 6am and 10am is the most efficient time because the sun isn’t too hot yet, and it allows time for the water to get absorbed by the roots before evaporating. Watering early in the morning also saves you from burning the plant foliage. Water droplets left on any leaves while the sun is at its hottest will heat up and almost act as sun through a magnifying glass, damaging your plants and leaving brown spots.
Mulch Your Garden
Maintaining a 2-inch layer of bark mulch on all of your gardens will help retain moisture longer, giving your plants the best chance to get the most water they can before the soil dries up. Don’t forget to water long enough to allow the water enough time to percolate through the soil to the entire root system, not just the surface roots.
Group Plants by Watering Needs
Drought tolerant plants are a great choice for the garden, but that doesn’t mean your entire garden has to be drought-tolerant plants. Instead, create drought-tolerant sections in your garden to localize your watering efforts and minimize waste on plants that don’t really need it. Lavender and Euphorbia are great mid-height selections. Sedums are an incredible groundcover with lots of variety. Blue Oat, Fescue, and Pampas are all different sized Grasses that thrive in this setting. Yuccas are another great option to create a strong, upright visual interest in a drought-tolerant garden, drawing your eye to its dominant form.
Your Lawn Space
A lawn's watering needs are the most demanding in your yard. If it constantly struggles during July and August, think about where you could cut back on it, and whether you really need that much lawn. If not, enlarging some of your gardens, creating a nice garden patio, or building a propane/natural gas fire pit area are just a few great ways to remove some of your lawn and replace it with usable, low-maintenance space. For the lawn areas that are kept, be careful not to cut them too short. Maintaining a height of 2.5-3 inches will help the roots grow deeper and retain more water, as well as create more shade for the soil to keep the temperature down.
Even though its these months when we all take off for summer vacations, this is when our yards are stressed out and working overtime! Help them out as much as you can by following some of these simple tips, and if it’s a little too much work than you want during the summer, don’t hesitate to call a landscape professional to take care of it.