We’ve weathered a few heat waves this summer, and while most of us are no worse for wear, the same may not be true for your lawn and landscape plantings.
Heat stress can occur surprisingly quickly. It happens most often in temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperature isn’t the only risk for heat stress. Other factors come into play such as the duration of a heat wave, the age of the plant, the amount of water content in the plant’s tissue and the ability of the plant to adapt to changing temps.
When it’s hot out, we humans perspire. The plant equivalent of this is transpiration—the evaporation of water through a plant’s leaves. Leaves can lose water much more quickly than their roots can absorb it, so a heat wave can quickly dehydrate plants and turf. Leaves can curl up, wilt, look dry, turn brown, grey or yellow or drop off branches all together. Your lawn can demonstrate heat stress by retaining the imprint of your footsteps after walking on it.
Even just one episode of heat stress can permanently damage leaves, possibly compromising the plant’s health. In this more weakened and vulnerable state, plants become more susceptible to disease and infestation from pests.
It’s no news that we can’t do anything about the weather, but there are some things we can do to help offset the stress of sizzling summer days:
- Move potted plants to shady spots
- Plant delicate plants in shadier areas
- Mulch around plants to retain moisture and lower soil temperature
- Water regularly and deeply. Consider a drip irrigation hose for deep root watering for plants.
Want more ideas on how to help your landscape plantings beat the heat this summer? Call us at Farmside—we’re here to help!