Caring For Trees in Extreme Heat: Part 2 – July 2016

Are you worried about the heat taking its toll on your trees, lawn, and shrubs? Let us help you take all the necessary steps to ensure a healthy yard.

Last but certainly not least, water your lawn. But do it smart so you are not wasting water and money. Start by giving “hot spots” a good soak. These are the areas that get sun all day, along hot blacktop, slopes, and western and southern exposures. A light sprinkling will not help and may hurt. Get the water deep enough for the roots to use, they are much more efficient at taking up the water than the top growth is. An hour of steady sprinkling should penetrate the soil as much as 3-6”. Water early in the day so the sun and heat don’t evaporate the water before it even soaks in, and water evaporation from the plants in extreme heat will cause wilt or burn. Night watering is not normally advised because your plants stay wet until the sun comes out, inviting mildew, disease, and pests. But, well, most of us have to go to work in the morning! We don’t have much choice but to water in the evening, and that is still better than watering in the heat of the day. During a drought and extreme heat the plants will usually dry out quickly unless humidity is also very high. Try to water shaded areas right after work and move to sun exposed areas as sundown approaches since they will be hot and the grass will dry more quickly.

Due to watering restrictions, you may have no choice but to let your lawn go dormant. Once there is relief with rain or lifting of watering restrictions, you may be anxious to perform all the late summer and fall chores that normally refresh your lawn. But the grass is extremely stressed, and spraying for weeds, aerating, power raking and even fertilizing will damage a severely stressed lawn. First, water at least an inch per week until the grass is refreshed, green and growing. Second, fertilize with a low dose of nitrogen just before rain is expected or before sprinkling. You can either purchase a low nitrogen fertilizer or apply at half the recommended rate. As soon as your lawn looks green and healthy it is safe to apply weed control, but don’t overdo it! Mixed at high ratios or applied at a heavy rate, weed control chemicals can burn your grass even when it is healthy. Aeration can also be performed once the grass is green, growing and healthy. Power raking is better left for spring under any conditions, but many people prefer to perform power raking in fall. Done early enough on a healthy lawn, damaged turf crowns will have time to heal before winter.

The Tri-Cities can have some pretty high temperatures during the summer. Let Top Tree LLC show you how to keep your trees healthy during the hot summer months.

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