Are you enjoying this divine spring weather? Our warm days and cool nights have done wonders for the roses, irises and peonies, but we all know that the heat of summer is right around the corner. With a little planning today, you can reduce the summer stress on both yourself and your plants. Plus, you’ll enjoy a beautiful landscape and a good harvest.
Water: no matter where you live, be sure to know your city’s water schedule. Most established landscapes need one soaking once a week to stay healthy. The goal is to deliver 1-inch worth of watering all in one dose. Supplement veggie gardens, containers and new plantings with soaker hoses or hand watering.
If you have an irrigation system, now is a great time to have it checked for any leaks or malfunctions. Consider switching out your old irrigation heads to more modern water-saving heads. They spray larger droplets so that less water is lost to evaporation. Drip-irrigation systems can also be a water-saving solution.
Feed the Soil: Healthy soil means healthy plants. When your soil is bio-active and well aerated, your plants develop stronger root systems. A strong root system makes plants better able to tolerate periods of drought. Adding organic compost seasonally to your soil will help introduce organic matter and also help loosen and aerate the soil. Organic humus-based products like Soil Mender Garden Soil Builder can add additional supportive nutrients as well as enriching soil.
Mulch is your summer garden’s best friend: Add two to three inches of mulch to all garden beds. Mulch helps soil retain moisture and keeps roots cool. Plus, it breaks down into the soil over time, adding beneficial nutrients.
Plant for the heat: Spring blooms are fading and now is the time to plant purslane, pentas, zinnia, firebush, marigold and lantana that love the heat. Mix in herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, sage and thyme for fragrance, foliage and culinary use. Plant in both pots and in the garden. These tough and heat-hardy plants thrive in Texas heat with minimal care.
Eat your veggies: Squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons and beans grow through the hottest months. Direct-seed in May for a delicious harvest at the end of summer. Direct-seed your second crop of tomatoes outdoors in May, or plant tomato transplants in July for fall harvest. Tomato plants will be arriving at end the June.
New Plants & Shrubs: Did you add new plants this spring? A dose of organic root stimulator such as Nature’s Guide Root Stimulator each month through summer will help them battle the heat.