When it is this hot and dry, water restrictions can impose limits on your ability to maintain the manicured landscape. This is when you can tell whether your plant material has the legs to handle an extended drought. It is also a good time to assess and evaluate what if any water hogs you have growing in your garden. Lawn is the number one culprit.
In regards to the rest of your landscape, certain trees and shrubs may start to look tired but it doesn’t mean they are going down for the count. You may even notice extensive defoliation, indicating the drought and heat stress conditions many plants are presently experiencing. If you do notice defoliating plant material, keep your cool. Your trees are actually conserving moisture by dropping its excess leaves. If the tree drops thirty percent of its foliage, it now has less surface area to potentially lose moisture. Does the plant need water? Most likely yes but stand back and look at the whole tree or shrub. If the remaining leaves on the tree appear to be tough and healthy, not wilted, the tree is probably fine. You don’t wear a hooded sweatshirt when it is 90 degrees so a tree can often shed a layer of its own non-essentials in this heat. It may need a supplementary drink but unless it was recently transplanted or newly installed, water sparingly. When you do water, do so thoroughly. Get moisture to penetrate deep into the ground, not just run on the surface and make sure to maintain the mulch layer.
All these points can seem redundant to my daily readers but it is amazing how many times during these weather conditions I see irrigation systems watering driveways as shrubs around the foundation perish. Don’t squander your resources.
Today’s quote comes from Bill Watterson. “Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?” Be smart, plan accordingly and plant sequentially. Have a great summer day. Read a book under your shade tree and be glad for it!
Image from the Internet - actually from an Irrigation Company!
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)