Tips to Keep Your Landscape Looking Good All Summer Long
Summertime is here, and all the fun activities are in full effect. The heat may be putting a bit of a damper on our fun, and our material in our landscape is likely showing heat stress. Moon Valley Nurseries in Texas is here to help!
If you have been following and keeping up with our blog, the chances are good that you have the best-looking landscape in your neighborhood. If it’s your first time reading our monthly landscape and garden tips, this is an excellent time to read up on our expert recommended tips. Our nursery pros have covered some important tips for taking care of our trees and other plants this summer.
How to Water, What to Plant, and More!
You don’t need us to tell you that it’s hot outside. So, the best time to do any gardening is in the early morning hours or later in the day, after supper. Do your gardening chores when the temperatures are much more comfortable!
Watering: We recommend watering early in the morning, between 4 am and 8 am. Watering early in the morning reduces the evaporation loss. Always water deeply as this is the best way to ensure that the entire root zone becomes saturated. When it comes to watering trees, be sure to saturate the soil at least three feet deep. Water shrubs and drench the soil at least one foot deep. We will want to deep water with a hose every ten to fourteen days. Water your containers twice a day. White crust building up in containers is 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.
Fertilizing: Lightly fertilize your flower beds to encourage their growth. Moon Valley Nurseries has developed specialized blends of fertilizers that can give the material in your landscape a helping hand during the summer. Our fertilizers are designed to help trees, palms, and shrubs recover from any heat stress. Purchase our fertilizers at all Moon Valley Nurseries locations throughout the Houston area.
Protect the Trunk of Your Tree: Did you know that trees can get a sunburn, too? They can, and unlike humans, applying sunscreen is not going to benefit the tree. Young trees will need protection when the temperatures rise. We recommend protecting a new tree from sunburn with a Protective Tree Wrap. It is also smart to stake both young and older trees. Staking the trees will provide some stability when the high winds arrive.
Mulching: Conserve moisture with mulch. We recommend applying mulch around the base of the tree. Adding a three to four-inch layer of mulch is an excellent way to retain moisture and keep your soil cool during the summer months. We will also want to keep a thick layer of mulch around the roots of trees and shrubs.
Pruning: This is the time to remove any faded or dead flowers to encourage new growth. Prune your shrubs and trees as necessary. Try not to prune your spring-flowering shrubs heavily. It is a good idea to remove any dead or diseased plants from your garden – replace them with new plants!
Tip: If you have not prepared for the hurricane season yet, this is an excellent time to make sure all weak branches and trees are pruned.
Vegetable Garden: During the first half of the month, we can still plant okra, pole beans, lima beans, and corn. We can also plant cucumbers, squash, and snap beans, but be sure that enough water is provided.
Our Experts Recommend Planting these Trees This Month
Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora): These evergreen trees grow in an oval, pyramidal shape that can create shade. They are beautiful trees, too. They feature large, glossy green leaves, and bloom giant, creamy white, fragrant flowers in the spring and summer. We like to plant them near windows to lower utility use. They are very clean, so they are ideal for planting near pools and patios. Plant them in a location that receives full sun or partial shade exposure.
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana): Live Oak is an iconic tree that can live for hundreds of years. These long-lived trees feature a beautiful spreading canopy that can block sunlight and create plenty of shade. Homeowners and landscapers alike rave about their low maintenance features. Families are sure to love mature trees because they offer plenty of climbing opportunities. Feel free to attach a tire swing for the kids. If you want to create massive shade and a privacy screen, we recommend planting them in rows!
Carolina Cherry (Prunus caroliana ‘Compacta’): These evergreen trees can block unwanted views and create privacy. They are ideal for the Houston area because they tolerate heat and wind. Their bright green foliage has a scent that reminds people of maraschino cherries! This is an excellent selection for use as a hedge, and they can be sheared into a cone or columnar shapes, too.
Japanese Blueberry (Elaeocarpus decipiens): These are excellent evergreen trees that are used for hedging, where they can block unwanted views in style. Homeowners are sure to appreciate their low maintenance features. When grown to be a larger tree, they can create plenty of shade, too. In the summer, tiny, scented flower clusters bloom, attracting butterflies and birds along the way.
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia): Vibrant, colorful flowers can help us forget how hot and humid it is outside. Crape Myrtle is famous for producing colorful flowers when not much else is blooming in the summer. They are the perfect size for any landscape in Texas, small or large, Lagerstroemia is sure to add year-round interest. Mass planting them can create an explosion of color in your yard!