Luke Kalawsky has a passion for all things trees, plants, and landscape design. He has designed numerous landscapes as the head designer in the Surprise, Arizona region until he became a manager of our Central Phoenix Nursery. He now dedicates his knowledge, expertise, and creative capabilities to help the masses discover how to design, plant, and maintain their landscapes with his writings.
We are approaching the end of cooler weather and are transitioning to a festive time of barbequing, pool parties, and a prime growing season for trees and plants. Now is the last opportunity to prepare your yards and be ready to take advantage of the summer growing season.
Our nursery pros have put together the best landscape tips to get your yard ready and prepped for the summer months. Take a read through our collection of advice and ensure your yard is ready to grow and look amazing all summer long!
ADJUST YOUR WATERING
When temperatures begin to rise, it's crucial that you keep an eye on how your trees, shrubs, and other plant material are responding to the heat. This will also help you notice any minor issues and fix them before they become a problem.
Always remember to use a deep watering method on your trees and shrubs so water reaches the entirety of the root system. Short and shallow watering sessions are usually ineffective, preventing water and nutrients from reaching the whole root system of your trees and plants, and resulting in a waste of water.
Long and slow watering sessions are best because it allows the water to penetrate deep into the soil. Not only does this help the tree right away, but it also helps in the long-term development of the root system, and it can make a tree less susceptible to drought.
For more information on deep watering practices, check out our watering guides to get a better idea of how to take care of your irrigation settings.
PROTECTION AND MULCH
Now is a great time to ensure the sensitive trees and plants in your yard are equipped to stay cool through the summer. The most efficient way to keep the soil around your plants moist and cool is to apply a layer of mulch around them. Adding a few inches of mulch will help you reduce how much water you’ll need to use because the mulch keeps the roots cool and retains moisture for longer periods of time.
Mulch is available at any Moon Valley Nurseries location.
Additionally, certain varieties of trees are susceptible to sunburn, and almost all species of trees could benefit from some extra solar protection. Our nursery pros recommend covering the trunk with a protective tree wrap. Younger trees are more prone to sunburn than mature specimens, so be sure to cover their trunks this month to ensure healthy trees this summer.
Protective Tree Wrap is available at any Moon Valley Nurseries location.
FERTILZING AND NUTRIENTS
Give your landscape a much-needed boost of vitamins and nutrients before the summer is officially here. All our fertilizers have been specifically crafted for our native soils. Fertilizing now sets your trees and plants up for success during the warmer summer months. By creating strong and healthy root systems, your landscape is able to better handle adverse conditions with reduced stress from the environment. We recommend fertilizing monthly, March through October for most trees.
We carry fertilizers for everything on your landscape from shade trees, flowering trees, and palms to fruit and citrus. Click here to learn more about all the fertilizers that we carry at our nurseries.
FINALIZE LAWN TREATMENTS
Hopefully, you have been monitoring and taking care of your lawn for the past few months, so any big issues are taken care of by now. This is the month you want to complete any intense fertilizing on your lawn, especially if it needs nitrogen.
As the temperatures rise, nitrogen will be harder to use in high doses due to its potential burn factor. It is good to use some nitrogen-enriched fertilizer now to give your lawn a boost in growth and development that will keep it looking great through the summer.
WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH
The Ficus ‘Indian Laurel’ is one of the best medium to large shade trees you can find! In fact, this near-perfect tree loves to grow where there’s plenty of full sun exposure. Of course, one of its big selling features is its wide-spreading canopy, which features beautiful, lush evergreen foliage that adds beauty to any environment. We love to plant them on any landscape that could benefit from its generous shade capability. When properly placed around a home, its canopy can provide enough shade to help cool the home, which can lead to lower utility bills and a more comfortable indoor environment during those hot days.
Golden Bamboo is cold hardy, heat tolerant, and adapts well to sun and partial shade environments. One of the great things about this bamboo variety is that you don't have to live in the tropics for it to thrive. It's a small to medium bamboo species that features beautiful golden stems and thick growth, making it an attractive option for homeowners in search of a privacy hedge. In fact, it's one of the best choices for creating a lush living wall because of its fast growth and tropical appearance. The golden shoots contrast beautifully with the dark green evergreen foliage.
For more info on the best trees for privacy hedges, click here!
When considering all aspects that make a truly great and successful palm, the King Piru Palm™ exceeds all expectations. Amazingly durable, this palm thrives in soils that other palms may struggle in. Alkaline, salty, heavy clay, and even caliche-type soils are no problem for the King Piru Palm™. Since this palm is sterile you can expect very little to no litter throughout the entire year. Going one step further, this palm has the incredible ability to not only thrive in the hottest summer sun our area can bring but it’s also cold hardy in winter temperatures down to 12 degrees Fahrenheit!