How to Maintain a Healthy Landscape in Summer
From our friends at Lawnstarter.
They're not kidding when they say, "Everything's bigger in Texas." That's especially true when it comes to summer heat and humidity! That can make it challenging to maintain a healthy landscape in summer.
Come summer, lush landscapes can turn lackluster due to soaring temperatures and low rainfall. You can't control the weather, but you can make sure your landscape survives and even thrives during the hottest months of the year.
Choose a Texas-tough grass. If starting from scratch (or seed,) choose a warm-season grass type that can handle the Texas sun and heat. Bermudagrass, buffalograss, Zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and tall fescue. Depending on the variety you choose, you’ll need to mow weekly or bi-weekly. Taller grass helps protect the roots from the heat and summer sun.
Water is life. Grass, plants, shrubs, and trees all need water. If only nature alone got the job done. Irrigation systems are a must in Texas. Make sure you test your sprinkler system in the spring to make sure it’s working properly. Check for any missing or leaking heads, and test run each zone for a couple of minutes to be sure water is going where it’s intended and is not landing on the driveway or sidewalk.
Go Native. Native flowers and trees such as black-eyed Susans and bluebonnets are adapted to the Texas heat and soil conditions. Native plants are more resistant to disease, pests, and they won’t harm our ecosystem. They were born to live here, so they practically grow themselves and need little water, fertilizer, or maintenance. And there are many varieties from which to choose.
Take your landscaping to new heights with native trees like honey mesquite, Mexican plum, Texas redbud, and cedar elm. Not only do trees provide welcome shade for your yard, they also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Keep in mind; you’ll need to maintain these trees by pruning dead branches and watering them in the summer. The best time to trim most trees is typically during winter, when the tree is dormant.
Ground Cover. Don’t forget the eye candy! Set your landscape apart from the rest with a ground cover. Purple phlox, Texas gold columbine, and English ivy add texture and curb appeal. Ground covers can often be used in place of grass, which means less water, fertilizer, and mowing.
Mulch. Let’s face it: Accessories make the outfit. Think of mulch as dazzling earrings. Mulch instantly adds rich color and helps define your landscape. It also helps reduce water loss from the soil surface by acting as an insulator, helping to regulate soil temperature to keep plant roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Applying mulch around plants also helps suppress weeds, saving you time on your hands and knees. You can buy it by the truckload or by the bag in a variety of colors. Not only will it help you maintain a healthy landscape in summer, but fresh mulch will add a pleasant aroma to your yard.
Tyler Campbell started mowing lawns in Aurora as a teenager to put himself through college. After getting his degree in landscape architecture, he now designs landscapes for commercial clients, but his favorite part is getting down to grass tacks, and mowing the grass.