Hot Weather Tips for Gardening

Today’s post is from Deb Courtner, a landscape designer, garden writer and speaker who creates low-maintenance landscapes for busy homeowners. She owns and operates Blossoms & Blueprints, LLC, a landscape design and consulting firm in Denver, Colo. She also shares this image of  “creative bindweed use.” Visit her blog for more helpful landscaping tips.

Sane Tips for Crazy Gardening Weather

Summertiiiiime and the livin’ is crazy . . . forest fires, Stage 1 drought, weeds galore, plants wilting left and right.

What’s a gardener to do?

These tips may help you cope with hot, dry weather:

Go long on grass. If you have Kentucky bluegrass, don’t mow your lawn any lower than 3 inches. Taller grass blades shade the soil and help conserve moisture. They also reduce weeds.

Mulch like mad. If you don’t want to leave grass clippings on your lawn after mowing, collect them and dry them out. Then use them to mulch your vegetable garden. Besides saving water, the clippings will gradually break down and provide nutrients to your soil.  Just make sure the clippings haven’t been treated with weed killer.

Carefully consider the type of mulch you use for your perennial and shrub beds. Colorado State University offers an excellent publication called “Mulches for Home Grounds.” Check it out to determine the appropriate mulch for your needs.

If you’re interested in free wood mulch, you might obtain some by contacting tree-trimming companies. Often these companies will let you pick up mulch from their dumping sites.

Water strategically. When your lawn or garden needs water, check the weather forecast. If you notice that temperatures will be dropping in the next couple of days, wait until the cooler day to water.  That way, more water will be absorbed into the soil and plant roots instead of evaporating. And of course, avoid watering during the heat of the day.

For more tips on landscaping and watering, you can download or order Denver Water’s “Water Wise Landscape Handbook.” Another helpful resource is the Green Industries of Colorado (GreenCO) “Landscape Water FAQs.”


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