How to Protect Your Outdoor Plants from Heat Stress

Properly watering grass with sprinkler for the summer months

Here in the Northeast, we’re known for our harsh winter weather. Anybody who lives here year-round, though, will tell you that our summers can be pretty brutal too! While our high temperatures and heat waves don’t last quite as long as those of our southern counterparts, a few weeks of intense heat is all it takes to destroy the progress you’ve made on your landscape.

As you’re caring for outdoor gardens, trees, and other plant life on your property during the summer, it’s important to take specific steps to combat the effects of heat stress. Here are a few summer plant care tips to keep your landscape lush and healthy through the year’s hottest months!

Be Liberal with the Mulch

Mulch is one of the best tools in a landscaper’s arsenal for protecting plants from the summer heat. Adding a layer of mulch on top of your soil helps it retain moisture and prevents it from suffering too much from sun exposure. There are several organic and inorganic materials you can mulch with, such as straw, grass clippings, compost, gravel, newspaper strips, sawdust, and more! The lighter the color of the mulch you use, the better it will reflect sunlight away from your plants and the underlying soil.

Ensure You Water Properly

Your instinct may be to water your plants every chance you get to combat the heat and dry summer air, but this would be a mistake. Overwatering, like over-mulching, can cause root rot and disease due to excess moisture.

Stick to two to three deep soakings a week, focusing on fully saturating those roots. If you don’t water deep enough, the heat will evaporate the water before it reaches the root system, and your plants won’t get the hydration they need. Water your plants early in the morning or evening when the sun and temperatures are not as scorching to reduce evaporation.

Provide Shade Where Possible

If you expect a heat wave or find that certain spots in your garden or on your landscape are getting the worst of the sun, use shade cloths and covers to provide extra protection. Shade cloths are only temporary solutions, but they can be just what you need to get through the peak of the summer. Don’t cover your plants too closely, though, as this can trap more heat and impede their growth!

For a more permanent protective solution for your landscape, consider investing in a shade structure for your backyard. A pergolaarbor, or even a stone retaining wall can provide heat relief for your plants while improving the look and function of your landscape as a whole!

If you’re worried about the summer heat getting the best of your landscape, VistaPro Landscape & Design can keep your garden, trees, shrubbery, and other plant life in tip-top shape in any season, so you don’t have to stress! From our grounds management services to our hardscape and custom woodwork constructions, we have everything your yard needs to protect your precious plant life.

Contact us at (301)805-0119 to learn more about our services and browse our projects online for inspiration!