Those of us who live in the Saraosta and Tampa area understand that for much of the year, we will be living under some pretty hot temperatures. We have made adjustments to our lifestyles to accommodate the climate.
So while we all feel a little wilted in the middle of a Florida summer, your landscape need not suffer. Here are some hot weather tips for a beautiful yard.
Hot Weather Tips for your Landscaping
If you are new to South Florida, you may not realize that hot weather is not relegated to summer months. Very hot temperatures and strong sunshine is prevalent for much of the year, often from April through November.
- Be an Early Bird: The best time to water plants and grass during the hottest months is in the early morning. Choose a time before the before the sun is high, generally before 9 a.m. or so. Because often the soil is still moist from the morning dew, the water is most likely to get absorbed before it evaporates from increasing heat. This will result in utilizing less water due to less evaporation. You may think that you can water later and just increase the amount of water used, but Water left sittingplants in the mid-day sun can become very hot and actually burn your plants, By watering in the morning, all extra water has the time it needs to evaporate so that the plants are not soggy overnight.
- Water Deeply, But Not Often: You may be tempted to water more often in the summer months, but in actuality, it is better to water your landscaping deeply, with at least 3/4″ of water each time. Generally, watering once or twice a week is sufficient, as slightly drought-stressed roots promotes their growth.
- Don’t Skimp on the Mulch: Make sure to keep two to three inches of mulch on your shrub and flower beds throughout the hottest months. Mulch is beneficial for retaining moisture in the beds, and ensuring the temperature around your plants and roots is minimized. Mulch also gives your raised bed a beautiful, finished look and reduces weed growth. This means you will have to spend less time in the heat maintaining your beds and pulling weeds!
- Don’t Scalp Your Lawn: You should mow your lawn to a length of no shorter than 3″ (unless you have a variety of grass which recommends a different specification). This grass length keeps the soil sufficiently shaded and therefore help to keep soil from drying out; and longer grass actually encourages root growth, which keeps grass healthier.
- Cast Some Shade: If your plants are in pots or movable containers, make sure they spend a sufficient amount of time in the shade when the sun is at its strongest. You can also get creative, adding awnings, whimsical umbrellas, or canopies to keep your flowers and plants shady throughout the season.
- Choose Florida Friendly Plants: If you are replacing plants or choosing new flowers for your beds, ask a local Sarasota landscape supply company regarding drought tolerant plants which will stay beautiful through the heat. You may choose tropical varieties like bromeliads and cacti to give your landscaping a gorgeous regional flair which will easily outlast the summer.
- Leave the Chemicals on the Shelf: Whether herbicides, fertilizers, or fungicides, these products promote rapid growth, which will stress your lawn and plants which are already trying to maintain as much moisture as possible.Big Earth Landscape Supply is your local source for all things lawn and garden – stop by one of our 4 local area locations for everything you need to keep your property look beautiful all year round.