Keeping Plants Healthy During the Summer Months

18 Jul '19

In Arizona, the summer brings heat, pests and drought conditions that can all create problems for plants. After pouring so much effort into the plants on your property during the spring, it is frustrating to watch as things take a negative turn. 

These strategies help to address the worst summer problems for plants so that you can enjoy watching your trees and shrubs thrive.

Use the Deep Soak Method

Daily watering may seem like it is working to help plants thrive. However, most plants do better when you water them long enough that the moisture gets all the way to the roots. 

Try watering trees and shrubs once a week for a longer period of time

Ideally, you should be watering to a depth of 6 to 12 inches for most types of plants. 

Large, well-established trees may need to be watered to a point that is as deep as two to three feet. This can sometimes require several hours of a slow soak, which works best with an irrigation system that minimizes water runoff.

Don't Fertilize

Fertilizing plants in the middle of the summer is a common mistake that people make. 

While it may seem to make sense to fertilize when your plants aren’t thriving, this actually causes them to divert all of their energy toward growth. This harms plants that need to use their energy to survive the heat of the summer. 

In some cases, trees begin to overgrow even without being fertilized. When this happens, we can use plant growth regulators to slow them down until the season is over.

Watch for Pests

Aphids
Aphids

There are several types of pests that destroy plants during the summer. Aphids, Japanese beetles and bagworms are just a few common insects in the area that you need to be concerned about.

Check your plants regularly for signs of a pest infestation. You may see brown spots or chewed areas on the leaves. Some pests also bore holes into the wooden parts of the tree, such as the trunk or limbs. 

Bagworms spin silk pods that are easily seen by looking at the leafy parts of trees. In some cases, you may be able to see the eggs laid by pests on the leaves, and we can use these to help identify the type of pest that is on your property.

Provide Shade

Young plants and those that begin to show signs of stress may need additional protection from the harsh rays of the sun. Consider hanging shades over plants that are established in the landscape. 

You can also bring potted plants inside during the hottest parts of the day to minimize the risk of the leaves drying out.

Avoid Overwatering During Periods of Heavy Rain

Watering plants is critical during the hottest days of the summer. However, you may need to scale back your watering schedule if the monsoon rains come. 

Some of the signs of overwatering plants look similar to those that occur when plants dry out. If your plants have yellow leaves that are wilting, then you may be overdoing the water. 

Adjusting your gardening techniques to fit the season is the best way to avoid problems with summer landscaping. Remember that every plant is different.

If these strategies don’t work, then we can check things, such as the quality of your soil, to make recommendations that restore your plants back to health.

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