Surviving the Summer Heat
It is the height of summer and you are sitting in front of the air conditioner, drinking an ice cold glass of lemonade to keep from melting. You have a couple shrubs and perennials waiting to be planted, but you are worried the summer heat might get to them. It is possible to successfully plant during the hot summer months, but like you, your plants need proper care to beat the heat. Here are a few guidelines for successful summer planting:
- Root prune aggressively. Aggressively root prune the side and bottom of the root ball prior to planting. When you pull it out of the pot, any matted roots should be completed shredded. This can be done by either breaking the roots apart with your hands or using a knife to slice every one inch around the side and bottom of the root ball. Root pruning aggressively and placing loose, unpacked soil around the root ball will cause the rooting out process and plant establishment happen much faster.
- Keep roots cooler by adding mulch. Top dress you newly planted bed or tree with mulch. The use of 3-4 inches of mulch around your plants will help retain soil moisture. It will also keep your plant’s root cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter by preventing extreme fluctuating soil temperatures.
- Water. Water. Water. In just one or two days of hot, windy and low humidity conditions, perennials, shrubs and trees purchased in plastic nursery pots can dry out and be severely damaged. Plants dry out quickly until new roots have grown into the surrounding soil, which could take anywhere from 6-12 weeks. By staying on top of watering, you will prevent your plant from getting stressed or damaged during the heat of the summer. Plants need to be watered DAILY for the first 4-6 weeks after being planted. You can reduce watering to every other day the next 4-6 weeks, then continue to water every third day until the ground freezes. Pick up watering again next spring until a full year has passed. Avoid watering during the heat of the day. You will minimize evaporation if you water in the early morning or evening, and have a much more pleasant watering experience yourself. Do not allow the hose to trickle on the plant or you may drown it! If you are going on vacation during this time, ask family or a friend to help take care of your watering.
By taking the proper steps while planting, even in heat waves, summer planting can be successful. When you keep your plants hydrated, they will keep you happy! If you have any questions or concerns regarding you summer planting, please call or stop in to ask one of our experts. You can also have us do the work for you, contact Pahl’s Landscaping for a free estimate. Stay cool!