Ask the Expert: Gardening
We all know Texas can heat up, and this summer definitely did that. Record heat doesn’t discriminate. This year, we’ve seen it can really take a toll on everything. Plant material, soil conditions, grass, pools, foundations — EVERYTHING. Things will cool down, and as they do, here are a few things to keep in mind.
With so many days over 100 degrees, most of our LAWNS have experienced some type of burn. They’ve thinned out and maybe totally died in exposed areas. In caring for your turf, consistency is the key. Consistent watering, consistent cutting, consistent fertilizing.
As you start to access replacement options, take in all factors including turf type. Determine what they will require so you will get something that not only looks good at installation but will continue to thrive for seasons to come. Other things to consider are sun exposure, grade and run0ff, irrigation layout, soil types, and maintenance options.) As the temps cool down, roll back watering and take mow height down slowly.
When it comes to your PLANT MATERIAL, don’t pull it out too fast. Instead, do a proper check to ensure it’s really dead. Many of our plantings have dropped foliage as a survival tactic through the heat, while others have suffered a severe burn where the leaves scorch and fall off but the plant can still recover.
Don’t forget to dial irrigation back — ensure everything gets hydrated but also has a chance to dry out before the sun goes down.
GROUND CONDITIONS have been all over the place. If you see your pool, patio, or even your house shift as the soil dries out, stay consistent with your watering. Don’t overwater and allow it to pool, but ensure you’re adequately hydrating the soil. Consistently hydrated soil is not as likely to expand or contract to the point that you can visually see movement. In the majority of the area, our clay content is high, which means it doesn’t take much to move and it can be challenging to dial in the correct rate of water. It’s always a good idea to have a licensed irrigation company come out this time of year to go through the system to ensure things are as they should be.