Three Tips for Helping Your Home Garden During Summer Heat Waves in North Texas
We’re pros at keeping our gardens lush and beautiful all summer long at the Dallas Arboretum, still flourishing through the hottest days of the season. While you may not have the benefit of years of testing plants in North Texas summers or an amazing, professional horticulture staff, you can still put these tips to work in your garden right now to keep things healthy in the heat.
1. Protect Your Plants’ Roots
Keeping soil covered lets it stay cooler and moister even on the hottest of days, which is very helpful for healthy, strong, sustained root growth. This helps both grass and other plants. To protect your lawn, raise the height of your mower to cut less off when you mow. Keeping the grass blades longer shades the soil and the roots. In other plantings, like a flower bed, cover the soil around plants with mulch, such as crushed nut shells.
2. Water Smarter to Reduce Consumption and Keep Plants Hydrated
You can change your watering habits to fit the weather and ensure plants get enough hydration. Many people know to time watering more deliberately when it gets hot. Early morning is the best because it’s the coolest part of the day, so soil has enough time to absorb the water and draw it to plants before it becomes hot enough outside for the water to evaporate.
In addition, it is best to water deeply, but infrequently, for the same reason. Some amount of water will always be lost to evaporation. When it’s hotter, watering more deeply – an inch of water a week in one or two waterings is a good rule – means more water seeping deep into the soil, where it can be absorbed by plants.
3. Manage Sun Exposure
Ensure plants are getting the right amount of sun, especially those that prefer partial or full shade. You can put up impermanent structures or even just hang fabric to create pockets of shadows over any shade-loving plants that you may not have planted as carefully as you’d like.
When you’re planning and planting your garden for next season, keep heat tolerance in mind and only choose plants that have proven they can stand the heat. We have our own “Flame Proof” certification that we give to plants we test. Better yet, also emphasize plants with a low water consumption profile. These decisions will make maintenance much easier next season. In the meantime, keep these tips in mind to protect your garden and take full advantage of the bountiful Dallas summer.