It’s Getting HOT

It’s Getting HOT

by PJ Kratohvil
of Complete Solutions

We’re barely into June, and we’re already breaking 100 degrees! If we compare to previous years, we could be setting up for one of the hotter summers we’ve experienced in a while. It’s a good idea to pay a little extra attention to some things going into this time of year to ensure your landscapes success.

With the average household spending 40 to 50% of its summer water bill on irrigation, make sure you’re water-wise. Sure, everyone says water infrequently and deep, but in most of our smaller lot communities, you will experience enormous amounts of runoff or water loss that never makes it into the ground if you run certain zones too long. Since all terrain is different make sure you run a test on your irrigation to ensure you’re not experiencing this type of water loss, that all your heads are spraying efficiently providing adequate coverage, and that you don’t have any leaks. If you find you’re only running a zone for a couple of minutes before you see water runoff, then it’s going to be better to set your system up to run shorter times more frequently. Also, keep in mind that once established your trees and shrubs need less water than the turf so adjust your controller accordingly.

When it is hotter outside try to keep the amount you prune off of your shrubs as well as your lawn to a minimum. Trees and shrubs can react harshly if you cut back too much when temperatures are hot. On your grass spaces, letting the grass become a little taller/thicker will help hold moisture at the base of the sod – allowing you to water less and keep things greener in between cuttings. It’s nice to have a tight, low-cut lawn, but the shorter you go, you expose more of the base of the grass blades and the higher you run the risk of burning.

One of the best ways to grow healthy plants and conserve water as it protects the plantings, helps to hold moisture closer to the roots, prevents erosion, and suppresses weed growth. Three inches of mulch is typically a reasonable amount for this area. Remember to keep it as even as possible and do not to let it build up against tree trunks or bases of the plantings themselves.

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