Tips to Keep Your Landscape Looking Good All Summer Long
Summertime in Southern California is one of the best times of the year. Yes, many of us are taking it easy, and enjoying all that SoCal has to offer. Of course, it does get hot where we live, and not everyone welcomes the heat. For instance, the material in our landscape is likely showing heat stress. We are here to help!
If you are a regular follower of our blog, then the chances are good that you have the best-looking landscape in the neighborhood. If this is your first time reading, you are in luck because this week we have our monthly landscape and garden tips. Read about the important tips for taking care of your trees and other plants this summer!
How to Water, What to Plant, and More!
Avoid gardening in the heat, do your chores in the morning or later in the day, such as after supper.
Watering: We recommend watering early in the morning. The best time to water is between 4 am and 8 am. We like to water early in the morning because it reduces the evaporation loss. Deep watering is the best way to ensure that the entire root zone becomes saturated. Be sure to saturate the soil at least three feet deep for trees, and for shrubs, drench the soil at least one foot deep. Deep water with a hose every ten to fourteen days and water your containers twice a day. If you notice white crust building up in containers, it’s salt buildup; remove and water heavily to flush out salts.
We recommend deep watering your flower beds and vegetable gardens two to three times a week. Be aware of drought conditions.
Fertilizing: Use a slow-release fertilizer for containers. Roses should be fed during the middle of the month to encourage more flowering. Use the Moon Valley Nurseries specialized blends of fertilizers. They are developed so that they can give the material in your landscape a helping hand during the summer. These fertilizer products are designed to help trees, palms, and shrubs recover from any heat stress. Visit all Moon Valley Nurseries locations to purchase fertilizers.
Protect the Trunk of Your Tree: Trees can get a sunburn. Also, unlike humans, applying sunscreen is not going to help them. Young trees will need protection when the sun and heat are at its most potent. We recommend protecting a new tree from sunburn with a Protective Tree Wrap. Also, stake both young and older trees. Staking the trees will provide some stability when the high Santa Ana winds or monsoon arrives.
Mulching: Keep the soil moist all summer long by applying mulch around the base of the tree. Adding a three to four-inch layer of mulch can retain moisture and keep your soil cool during the warm, summer months. We will also want to keep a thick layer of mulch around the roots of trees and shrubs.
Pruning: Remove any faded or dead flowers to encourage new growth. Remove annual flowers that have finished flowering.
Vegetable Garden: It’s an excellent time to plant tomatoes, eggplants, and pepper transplants. This is also the perfect time to start seeding lima beans, pumpkins, and squash.
Tip: If you have garlic and onions, they are ready when their tops start to bend over. After they have dried for a couple of weeks, remove their tops and store in a cool place.
Lawn Care: We recommend raising the mowing height to 2.5 to 3-inches. It’s a good idea to water your lawn with one inch of water per week.
Our Experts Recommend Planting these Trees This Month
Tipu (Tipuana tipu): If you want a beautiful shade tree, look no further. These fast-growing trees can create a massive amount of shade in no time at all. These trees are a favorite throughout Southern California, where they add beauty and help to cool down homes! They are water-wise trees, so they are ideal for SoCal yards. Homeowners rave about their year-round beauty. These attractive trees feature feathery bright bluish-green foliage. They put on a show when the golden blooms appear from late spring to early summer. In the summer, it’s all about the shade, and Tipuana tipu trees are star performers in any landscape. Use them as an excellent street tree or lawn tree, or as a tree for the patio.
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana): Generations upon generations will be able to enjoy this long-lived tree. They have a beautiful spreading canopy that can block sunlight and create plenty of shade. These are excellent trees for Southern California because they require little water once established. Homeowners and landscapers alike appreciate their low maintenance features, and families are sure to love mature trees that offer plenty of climbing opportunities. We recommend planting them in rows to create privacy and shade!
Chilean Mesquite (Prosopis chilensis): These beauties are a favorite Mesquite variety because they are thornless. They also have a wide canopy that can provide light, filtered shade to create a comfortable spot outdoors. Their soft, bright green, fern-like foliage and dark, twisting branches can add visual interest to any size landscape. Since they are water-wise, they are also an excellent choice for a dry rock garden or planted near pathways and patios. Create a privacy screen with shade coverage when they are planted together as groves.
Chinese Elm ‘True Green’ (Ulmus parvifolia): If you are looking for a shade tree that offers a comfortable picnic spot, Chinese Elm can do it! This is a favorite tree in the summer thanks to its umbrella shape. These trees can provide shade even at an early age. The canopy spreads fast! Lovely dark green foliage adds lots of color to landscapes in the summer. These trees are also family favorites. Mature True Green Elms are ideal for climbing or attaching a tire swing.
Indian Laurel: Homeowners throughout Southern California love the shade, privacy, and beauty features Indian Laurel possess. They feature dense, evergreen foliage so that they can block unwanted views and provide plenty of shade, too! If you live near a busy street, plant a few of these trees - they can act as a natural sound barrier. Moon Valley Nurseries offers the best varieties for our area including Ficus Rubiginosa.
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia): It’s Crape Myrtle time! Summertime comes alive with blooms that can range in color from white to red, purple and pink! They are small to medium trees that are ideally suited for smaller yards or a sweet spot in the corner of your landscape. They are drought tolerant, too, so they are ideal for SoCal! Add instant curb appeal when you plant them in the front yard. Create drama highlighting the tree with nighttime landscape lighting!