Landscaping In The “Dog Days”

It’s the time of year when you’re just about to give up on the yard. The heat is so oppressive that not only can you not stand to be outside but, your plants and grass can’t stand it either. The only thing that seems to thrive now is the weeds!

What can you do now that will be beneficial to the overall health and beauty of your landscape? First of all, don’t give up! Take care of your outdoor jobs early in the morning. If you need to water, this is the best time because the plants have time to absorb the water before it evaporates in the afternoon heat. Also, some plants can get burned by watering or applying chemicals during hot, sunny times of the day. Remember that deep, infrequent watering (1-2 times/week) is best not only for the plants but also for the environment.

While on your morning walk around the yard, check your plants for insects and disease and treat according to label directions. You can also do some light, cosmetic shrub pruning and dead heading of annuals and perennials.

This is also a great time of the year to plan for future improvements. Fall is the best time to plant and will be here before you know it. Take a look at your plantings to determine if they’ve become overgrown and will require heavy pruning or possibly need to be replaced. The landscape is constantly evolving and what was beautiful at one time may now be overgrown and unsightly. Trees shade out plants and grass and you need to make a plan to compensate for the changing landscape.

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