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Abundant water is the not-so-secret ingredient to summer plant survival.
The hard work of preparing garden beds and planting new plants in the spring gives your garden a good start on the growing year. When the summer heat arrives, take a few extra steps to keep your landscape flourishing throughout the hot season.
1: Water, or course, is the key ingredient to keeping your plants alive during the heat. If you are accustomed to watering once a week, increase the frequency to twice a week or more often during the summer. When you water early in the day, give the plants a light misting. Don’t do this in the evening; water that remains on leaves causes plants to be susceptible to disease.
2: Young plants and trees that were planted during the spring need extra care and attention. Whereas a fully grown older tree can go a week without any water, a young tree still needs help. Water them every two to three days.
3: Water plants in containers every day. They should be fine in the summer sun, but if there is a heat wave, it may be necessary to provide shade by moving them under a tree until the heat wave passes. Because the soil in containers dries out quickly, potted plants need daily attention.
4: Mulch landscape plants to help the soil retain moisture and to keep plant roots cool. Mulch the container plants, as well.
5: During the hottest parts of the summer, do not fertilize your plants. They slow their growth during the hot days to fight the heat; you do not want to put fertilizer on them to encourage them to grow at this time. Flowering annuals are the exception to this rule. These short-lived landscape showstoppers benefit from regular feedings to keep their blooms lush during the summer heat.
6: Keep your eyes open for insect infestations and treat the culprits as soon as you see them. Limit summer pruning to the removal of only dead or diseased branches.
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