With the extreme heat that we all have experienced this summer, it is important to consider proper grass maintenance. With water restrictions in full force, the dry ground has caused most grass types to go dormant. Considering the lack of water this year the grass will restore itself next season.
If the grass needs to be cut it is important to consider the height of the mower deck. Grass should only be cut at a minimum of 2.75 inches, as well people should refrain from cutting once a week. Fertilizer should not be added as it can either burn or be non-effective to the grass at this time. Cutting at a taller height helps protect grass roots and ensures a healthy rejuvenation next season.
Tree and Shrub Pruning
This season the trees and shrubs have been stressed with the lack of water and early spring we experienced. It is in the trees and shrubs best interest to refrain from pruning from the hot summer. Leaves help keep the tree cool. That being the said pruning helps prevent disease such as black knot, fire blight, honey locusts and beetles. Prune wisely.
It is important to consider proper watering times for newly planted trees, saplings and shrubs. Watering should only be done in early morning and late evening, this ensures that the will penetrate the root system. Mulch is one of the most important tools to keep your trees healthy any time of the year, especially during the hot summers. Most arborists suggest applying mulch in a layer that is around two to three inches thick on top of the soil by the tree. Ideally, you want to be able to see the tree flare, the area where it widens when meeting the ground. Put the mulch right outside of this area or around six inches from the tree’s trunk.
Mulch serves two important purposes during the summer. It helps the soil retain the moisture by preventing evaporation and it reduces the overall temperature of the ground. Since hotter ground can be harder on the tree’s roots and simply absorb more water.
With the long hot days most plants have shut down, even tomatoes have stopped pollenating. It is important to refrain from fertilizing as the garden is not absorbing much with the heat and can burn the plants. Ironically, during the heat of midsummer, sometimes the best thing you can do is to leave your plants alone. If you are going to water it is best to stick to a schedule of an inch of water inch of water morning and night. By doing this it helps conserve water and ensures you are not over watering plants. It is always best to work with mother nature and she will support your efforts.