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Preparing Landscapes To Survive Weather Extremes

Preparing Landscapes To Survive Weather Extremes

Recently the weather has been extremely unpredictable, so what better time to discuss the importance of sustainable landscape management practices. Trees and plants will begin new growth as soon as the temperature and humidity settle, but what happens if these summer conditions continue every year? Getting prepared is the best way to prevent plant stress.

Important components of landscape planning include:

Irrigation: Group all your plants and trees with the same water demands and watering times in close proximity, this will make watering convenient as some plants need more water and watering time than others. Make sure that your property undergoes a pre-summer irrigation audit to check irrigation emitters and valves ensuring that they work correctly and efficiently before the summer heat comes.

You can check to see that your plants are receiving the correct amount of water by probing the soil and adjusting the drip lines to line up with your plants’ root zones. This will ensure that each plant or tree receives the correct amount of hydration for its species, size and age.

Monitor And Make Adjustments: When temperatures cool and the rainy season is upon us, it is important to reduce watering so as to not over-water your plants or trees. Over-watering can cause just as many issues as under-watering. If the ground is saturated with water (usually you can see or feel this) the plant cannot breathe and the roots “drown”.

This increases susceptibility to disease and pests as the plant is using all of its resources to try and uptake water. This is why it's extremely important to monitor plants' water consumption, adjusting for hot and cold weather throughout the summer.

Acquire The Right Plant & Tree Species: When you are designing your next landscaping project, make sure to use plant & tree species that are able to withstand the intense summer conditions at the geographical location you are working in. A good way to do this is to find plants and trees that are already thriving in the area around your job as reference. Plants that have little adverse effects from the constant heat are perfect.

Keep in mind that some plants need a specific “home” and will not thrive near concrete, large structures, reflective windows, or near busy areas. It doesn't matter how much you water these plants, when they are in conditions they don't like, they will not survive.

At Ground Zero Landscape & Construction we recommend getting to know the plants that you use on your projects and to catalog a variety of plants or trees that adapt to summer conditions. We recommend plants that go dormant during these months. These plants recover in the fall time/produce seeds to replicate and normally do not need to be trimmed or replaced.

Shearing & Pruning Should Be Avoided: The best defense for pests and disease is a healthy plant. Shearing and pruning at the wrong time not only creates tons of stress that the plant has to work with, but it opens the tree or plant up to pests and diseases, setting the plant up for problems down the line.

It's Organic, Don't Panic: Soil health is also very important when it comes to mitigating plant loss during bouts of extreme heat or colds. We recommend using organic soils to increase a plant's heat and drought tolerance. Organic soils are full of micro life and allow a plant’s roots to expand and flourish.

Planning proper hydration measures, selecting plants for specific micro climates, timing fertilization and pruning with seasonal growth stages are all great ways to successfully make it through the summer heat. Good luck out there!

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