Utah’s a desert state, which means our summers are unbearably hot – not just for us, but also for any non-native plants (aka, most of your lawn). While we can duck inside and hide in air-conditioned bliss, our lawns don’t have that luxury. As such, you want to know how to care for your plants in extremely hot weather so that your yard doesn’t turn into this dull, brown, sad state of affairs.
Here is what you need to know about how to care for your plants in extremely hot weather and some options for if you don’t have much time to spare for your yard. Let’s get into it.
How Do Plants Cope With Heat?
This depends on the plant. If you have xeriscaping (landscaping designed for areas susceptible to drought), then you probably don’t have to do much in order to keep your lawn beautiful. For example, succulents converse water in their leaves, which is why said leaves are so fleshy. However, if your plants are not native to an extremely hot environment, they’ll struggle with the heat in one way or another.
Plants wilt when they lose water. If this condition continues, they’ll eventually dry up, turn brown, and die. Plants may also drop their leaves in an attempt to save water. Vegetable and fruit plants may have trouble producing in extremely hot weather.
How Do You Care For Your Plants In Extremely Hot Weather?
There are a few things that you can do in order to care for your plants in extremely hot weather.
#1. Additional Watering
The most straightforward thing to do when it’s super hot out is to water your plants more often. Since they’re losing water and make efforts to conserve water like the aforementioned dropping foliage, giving them more water helps them stay healthier in the heat. When it’s extremely hot, plants absorb water faster and need to be watered more often.
Bear in mind, though, that you can still overwater your plants. Overwatering isn’t good for them and causes some of the same problems as not enough water – wilting and leaf loss. This is because too much water depletes the oxygen in the soil, drowning your plants.
Watering in the morning and early evening is best (more on this in our previous blog about the best time of day to water your lawn). Don’t shower the leaves and branches at night, as this increases risk of fungus, mildew, and more – keep the water to the soil. Doing this in the morning when the leaves have time to dry before night strikes may help cool them, though.
Mulching your plants has two-fold benefits. Firstly, it helps to conserve moisture, keeping your plants hydrated. Secondly, it helps to keep your plants cooler – a must when temperatures are soaring. Shoot for a depth of about 3-4 inches to keep the soil around your plants moist and protected from harsh heat.
It’s important to select the right type of mulch for the plants you’re trying to protect and your area. Different types of mulch provide different layers of protection. As a general rule, light-colored mulches protect from heat better than dark-colored mulches, for the same reason why it’s better to wear white clothes over black clothes when it’s hot out.
#3. Shade Covers
This is especially important on fruit and vegetable plants. Giving your plants shade gives them relief from the heat, the same as it does for people. Shade covers come in varying degrees of protection. You can pick the one with the degree of protection that best suits your plants’ needs.
Generally, it’s recommended to pick a shade cover with 30%-50% protection, as your plants still need sunlight in order to thrive.
What About If You Don’t Have Extra Time For Your Lawn?
If you don’t have much time to spare, you can choose heat-tolerant plants for your yard. These are plants that can thrive in the heat and harsh sunlight. This is why people opt for the aforementioned xeriscaping – going for native plants rather than the stereotypical American green grass.
You can also hire a lawn care company to take care of your lawn for you. Many lawn care companies, such as the experts here at Green Castle Lawn Care, provide custom lawn care programs in order to best suit your needs and the needs of your lawn.
Contact us today to learn more about the lawn care services we provide and how we can help you care for your plants in extremely hot weather.