The heat of a Texas summer has now set in and this is a time to put efforts into enjoying the landscaping work that you have put into the first half of the year. With the days getting longer, you can enjoy your beautiful outdoor space much later into the evening. Invite friends over to enjoy your space with you, and create some wonderful summer memories.
Here is a to-do list for landscaping and gardening in the Dallas/North Texas region to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful.
Lawn Mowing: The best looking lawns will be those that are mowed regularly. Continue to mow your warm season turf grasses every 5 to 7 days. Bermuda should be maintained at 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches, while St Augustine at 2-1/2 inches in full sun and 3 to 3-1/2 inches in the shade. Keep mower blades sharp, and don’t cut more than one-third of the length of the grass blade.
Watering: Be especially mindful of potential drought conditions this time of year. Watering your lawn and plants at the proper frequency and duration is vital to the health of your landscape. It is advisable to water deeply and infrequently rather than frequent watering for short periods. This will help your lawn and plants to develop a deep root system that can take advantage of the large amount of water stored in the soil. Frequent, light watering results in a shallow root system that are easily stressed during the summer months.
Fertilizing: We recommended in June for you to fertilize your lawns with a high nitrogen or nitrogen-only fertilizer. Your lawns should be fertilized every eight to ten weeks during the prime growing season, so if you did fertilize in June, you should not fertilize again until August.
Fertilize container plants frequently, even as often daily if needed. Use a high quality water soluble fertilizer.
Insects, Diseases and Fungus: Warm weather brings the potential for unwanted bugs, plant disease and fungus. For St. Augustine grass, be on the lookout for Chinch Bugs from May through September. Check crape myrtles, oaks and pecans for aphids throughout the summer, and check ornamentals, flowers, and vegetables for spider mites now that the weather is warm and dry. Spider mites can be detected by taking suspicious leaves and rapping them over a white sheet of paper. If you see any dots on the paper that move, they are probably spider mites. For more severe problems, use an approved miticide. If it is only a light infestation, they can usually be reduced by frequently syringing the leaves with a sharp stream of water or by using insecticidal soap.
Watch for webworms on trees, especially pecans and mulberries, and treat as necessary. On roses, you should apply fungicide as necessary to control black spot and powdery mildew.
Landscaping Projects: June is a great time to consider hardscaping projects in your landscape. Consider hardscaping projects like patios, stone borders and outdoor kitchens to beautify your outdoor spaces. You may wish to consider some current trends in landscaping and design, such as creating a more natural and sustainable environment, using native plantings, attracting and sustaining birds and bees, and reducing water and irrigation requirements.
New Plantings: June is a great month to plant ground covers and warm season annuals to provide some summer color in your landscape. Heat tolerant annuals you might consider include moss rose, purslane, trailing lantana, pentas, copper plant, firebush, purple fountain grass, caladiums, coleus, crotons, tropical hibiscus, mandevilla and Gold Star esperanza.
You should plant mums now for a fall bloom. To encourage compactness and more flowers in the fall, pinch back fall bloomers like established mums, autumn asters, Mexican mint marigold and Mexican bush sage.
Plant Maintenance: Pay special attention to the water requirements of your landscape and lawn. All of your shrub and flower beds should have 3 to 4 inches of quality mulch in them. Good mulch reduces weeds, conserves water, prevents erosion, and regulates soil temperatures. As warm dry weather sets in, pay special attention to the water requirements of lawns, scrubs, trees and plantings. Remember that the best time to water is between 3:00 and 8:00 am to reduce evaporation and avoid fungal problems.
Pruning: While you should avoid any major pruning during the hot summer months, continue to prune out dead or broken branches from your woody, ornamental trees and shrubs. Be on the look out and pull any seedling oak, hickory or pecan trees from your beds. These are easiest to pull when they are young and the soil is moist. An old pair of pliers may be helpful to get a good grip.
You should also cut back spent flowers from your annuals and perennials to encourage new blooms.
If this list of landscaping and gardening tasks seems a bit daunting, remember to tackle your gardening one step at a time. If you need any assistance, we are here to help. High Quality Landscape Services has been creating beautiful landscapes and providing exceptional service to Dallas residential and commercial customers for 45 years. If you need landscaping services, let us put our experience to work for you to create a beautiful landscape.