The official start of summer is tomorrow, but we’ve already been experiencing summer-like weather for the last few weeks. Just less than two months ago, temperate weather and excessive rainfall was the story, but so far in June, our average high temperature has been 84º; that’s 4º above the normal high for this time of year. More importantly, following an especially rainy May, the first few weeks of June were like a mini-drought, with very little precipitation early on. Let’s consider how the arrival of summer impacts our landscapes…
After the Wet Spring We Had, it’s Twice as Bad.
As plants are coming out of dormancy in the spring, new root growth occurs. During a wet spring, like we had in 2017, root development tends to be shallow since there is so much available moisture near the surface. When the rain stops, and the heat kicks in, this presents a problem, as the deep roots needed to reach moisture aren’t there. This leads to added stress for turf grass, perennial plants, trees, and shrubs. Even irrigated turf is showing some effects of the recent weather change.
Increased Need for Supplemental Watering.
The extra heat and dry weather can wreak havoc on newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials, as well as annual flower plantings. Trees and shrubs that are under warranty require watering for the warranty to remain valid. If your sites have newly installed plant material, ask your Landscape Solutions representative about supplemental watering.
Less Than Ideal Conditions for New Installations
If you are considering any new plantings or replacements, or have pending installations, consider delaying the work until late summer/early fall when supplemental watering may not be necessary, and longer, cooler evenings allow for easier establishment of new plants.
Fall is the ideal time to plant new trees and shrubs, as well as aerate and overseed turf. If you have older deciduous shrubs like burning bushes, viburnum, or red twig dogwoods, fall is a great time to do rejuvenation pruning. If your turf isn’t up-to-par, late season turf treatments can be hugely impactful on the following season. In summary, fall of 2017 is the best time to get a head start on a winning landscape for 2018!
Stay cool outside, and welcome to summer!