Tips for helping your landscape survive the long summer ahead

Summer came all too soon, and the combination of heat with very little rainfall is stressful to landscapes and gardens. Plants need a period in the spring with rainfall and cooler weather to put on lots of new growth for the growing season, and they didn’t get that this year. Focus on good plants selection (plant things that are tough and can handle the heat and drought) and efficient irrigation (make the most of what water is applied instead of allowing it to evaporate) to help plants make it through the long summer.

If planting anything new, try to use larger transplants – they will have bigger root systems and can handle the stress of being planted in the heat better than small transplants. Some beautiful plants that thrive in the heat include sweet potato vine, Pride of Barbados, yellow bells, lantana, gopher plant, and various salvia varieties including Mystic Spires blue salvia – a favorite of many horticulturists and master gardeners. Vegetables to plant now include okra, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe and southern pea.

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