Campus News

Keep plants healthy in hot weather

When the temperatures reach triple digits, make sure to take care of plants. Recent record temperatures can obliterate lawns and ornamentals in just a few hours if these plants are already under stress for other reasons.

A lawn or a plant that has been well cared for and is healthy will survive a few 100-degree days much better than one that is in a weakened state going into the heat spell.

Proper care of plants to keep them healthy involves the following:

Avoid causing mechanical injury to trees and shrubs with weed eaters and lawn mowers. These injuries allow entry points for insects and diseases to overtake the plant. Deep wounds can cause damage to the tree’s vascular system, which carries water and nutrients to the rest of the tree.

Avoid severe pruning to trees and shrubs in extreme temperatures. Pruning puts a plant under stress. Plants try to develop new growth after pruning. A growing plant requires additional water and nutrients, which in a dry spell already are limited.

Water container gardens daily or when the top 2-4 inches of potting soil appears dry.

Do not over fertilize. Just as pruning stimulates new growth, so does fertilization.

Choose plants wisely. When planting a new tree or ornamental shrub, make sure the plant is adapted to your area.

Provide lawns with 1 inch of water weekly. If grass turns a bluish-green color or you can still see your footprints after walking through it, it is not getting enough water.