Maintaining Vibrant Plants in the Hot Hot Heat

While you may be basking and relaxing in the glorious height-of-summer heat, your plants may be taking a turn for the worse.  But with the right practices and landscaping optimization, you can create a viable plan to keep your plants healthy all summer long, so you won’t have to invest valuable time and money into replanting. Not to mention the fact that you won’t ever have to deal with gloomy-looking plants diminishing the beauty of your outdoor area. Read on for a few key suggestions to keep your plants from getting scorched in the full summer sun.

Colorful Outdoor Landscaping

REVAMP YOUR WATERING SCHEDULE

Plants need sunlight and water to survive—and in the Chicago summer, only the latter will be in short supply.  As simple a concept as this may be, it’s easy to think you’re watering correctly only to end up mystified when your plants end up bone dry and drooping.

One common mistake is to water plants around midday, when the sun is hottest. The best practice is to water in the morning and evening when the sun is less intense.  This allows all the water to soak through to the roots before the sun can cause it to evaporate.  In a more extreme heat spell, it can be beneficial to spray the leaves of your plants a couple of times per day with a spray bottle in order to keep the sun from drawing out most of the plants’ internal water.

MULCH MANAGEMENT

The importance of mulch in the summer can’t be overstated.  While too much mulch could stop the water from getting to the roots, using just the right amount will help to lock in the moisture within for a longer amount of time.  Once the water has soaked in, mulch works as a buffer layer to keep your soil from becoming too dried out.  Organic mulches are definitely preferred, given that stone mulches can actually trap heat underneath. Wood chips typically make a good mulch for summer use.

THROW SOME SHADE

Although it may seem like going to great lengths, a little creativity aimed at throwing a bit of shade onto your soil and plant beds can go a long way.  Natural looking wood or bamboo screens can be put up temporarily and then stored when no longer needed, without detracting too much from the visual aesthetic.  A lot can also be done with strategically placed outdoor benches and statues.

Another easy option, surprisingly, is to simply plant more.  The more shade-producing plants you have in the soil, the harder it is for the sun to scorch your source of healthy plant-nutrients. Just be sure to give them plenty of water.

HYDRATE WITH AUTOMATIC IRRIGATION

In sum, excellent hydration can keep your plants vibrant no matter what kind of heat you’re dealing with.  It’s often just too difficult to get done when you’re working in intense heat and you’ve got to water four or five times a day in order to give your plants the water they need to thrive.  This is where irrigation systems can make the problem a whole lot easier to deal with.  Soaker hose and drip irrigation systems are often ideal because they water over time rather than in short bouts.  But no matter what kind of system you’re using, it all comes down to adjusting the cycle to get the right amount of water to your plants.  For more info on irrigation systems, and to put in a system that keeps your plants optimally vibrant as the seasons change, get in touch with Botanical Concepts Chicago.