Like it or not, leaf scorch is a major issue for almost every home’s landscaping. As the weather warms up and the sun starts shining for more hours each day, your plants are at increased risk for scorch and damage. Once it happens, fixing those damaged plants can be a serious challenge. Your Denver sprinkler maintenance team wants to help you keep your plants looking great and healthy throughout the growing season. Here are a few easy ways to prevent leaf scorch no matter how hot or sunny it gets.
Water the Right Way
One of the most common causes of leaf scorch is inadequate hydration or watering throughout your landscaping. Watering too much can be just as damaging as watering too little. When the leaves are consistently wet, the sun can burn those wet spots. When they’re consistently dry, the plants lack the needed moisture to stand up to the sun’s harsh UV rays.
The easiest way to keep your plants happy is to water them correctly during the summer months. Check in with your landscaping team or local garden center and get advice on how much water each type of plant needs. Make notes and use this information when you’re caring for your yard.
Use Shades on Hot Days
Even full-sun plants can get a little too hot for their good during the summer months. That’s where shades can help. During the hottest parts of the day, spread a light shade cloth over the plants. If possible, mount the cloth on stakes so it can sit over the plants without putting pressure on the leaves. Once the weather cools down, you can remove the shade and let your plants enjoy the sun without worry.
Plant in the Right Conditions
Different plant species require different planting conditions to thrive. If a plant needs full sun, avoid planting it in a part of the yard that’s in almost constant shade. And if a specific plant needs full shade, don’t plant it in part of your garden bed that gets 8 or more hours of sunlight. This is the easiest way to cause leaf scorch and can, if left unaddressed, cause your plants to grow poorly or even die prematurely.
If you’re not sure where a plant should go, do a little research. Search for the plant’s name online and read up on the ideal growing conditions for each new addition to your garden. If you see that some of your existing plants are struggling where they’re planted, research them, too. You may need to transplant them to a better location to improve your results.
Be Careful with Fertilizer
Fertilizer helps restore nutrients in the soil and gives plants the added boost they need to grow properly. But it must be applied properly if you want it to help your plants rather than hurt them. Too much fertilizer can scorch the roots, making it hard for your plants to grow and pull up the nutrients they need from the soil.
Before you fertilize, make sure you’re following the instructions on the label. Ideally, fertilize in the spring and late summer rather than the warmer months of the year. This will help preserve your plants’ health and ensures that they get the full benefit from the fertilizer without scorching.
Mulch Your Garden Beds
Mulch is one of the best ways to trap moisture in the soil and keep your plants’ root systems cool and damp. Spread a thick layer of mulch over the topsoil in your garden beds and around the bases of trees and shrubs. Once it’s in place, you can water as normal.
The mulch will eventually break down and will need replacing from year to year. As it breaks down, the minerals and nutrients inside the mulch get deposited in the soil and become available for the plants to use to further improve their growth. Just be mindful of where you spread it. Mulch needs to be spread close to the base of the plants. If you pile it too high or put it too close to sensitive leaves and new growth, you could end up hurting your plants.
Fine-Tune Your Sprinkler System
When the soil is wet, water soaks into the roots of your lawn, trees, and shrubs. This helps keep your yard growing well. But the water has to reach those roots to give your plants the moisture they need. If your sprinkler system isn’t hitting the entire yard or the sprinkler heads aren’t hitting your lawn at all, you need to schedule a tune-up.
Contact your sprinkler repair experts and let them inspect your system. During the tune-up, they’ll make sure the controller is working properly and can inspect the heads to make sure the placement and spray patterns go where they’re supposed to. If anything looks off, they’ll be able to make the necessary repairs quickly.
Monitor the Soil’s pH
Plants thrive in different soil conditions. Some prefer more acidic soils while others prefer more alkaline soil. Soil conditions can change over time and you’ll want to keep an eye on the conditions throughout the year. Test the soil’s pH every season and make notes of any issues you find.
If the soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it can hurt your plants and you’ll need to supplement the soil with specific fertilizers and plant foods. Leaving the soil at an undesirable pH for your plants increases the risk of scorch and underperformance. If you’re not comfortable testing and correcting soil pH, don’t panic. Contact your landscaping expert and let them help.
Get Your Yard Ready Ahead of Time
The best way to keep your yard healthy and to prevent scorch and burning is to make sure your landscaping is ready for everything the growing season can throw its way. Contact us to schedule a sprinkler system tune-up today and let our pros help you keep your yard hydrated and happy no matter how warm the weather gets. Your plants will thank you.