The weather forecasts are predicting a dry June for both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout south Louisiana. Look out for dustier cars, panting animals, and stressed plants. Read on for some steps to take with the dry weather just around the corner.
Don’t stress out! We are not just taking about you. Don’t stress out your plants any more than they already will be. Keep your grass cut about a quarter inch higher than normal. Avoid selective herbicides if possible. Keep excessive shrub pruning to a minimum on susceptible plants. Give them a some water if they start to look droopy.
Add a good layer of mulch to your landscape beds. Keep it between two and three inches. A proper mulch layer will help to maintain a better moisture level in the soil near the roots of your plants. Soil with more moisture in a dry period means better looking plants. Leave an inch or so gap near tree trunks and the base of shrubs. Building up mulch near the base of these can lead to some long term problems.
Install a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof. Less rain in June does not mean no rain. The roof of your home will channel the rain water toward your gutters and down into your rain barrel. Use the stored water to hydrate the plants and save yourself some money on your monthly water bill.
Plant flowers that are drought tolerant. Some flower varieties need constant attention and a lot of water. Skip these unless you have a lot of spare time. Peruse the annual selection at your local garden center for flowers that can take both the heat and dry times.
Install an irrigation system with an automatic timer. An irrigation system, or lawn sprinkler, is your insurance against drought. The automatic timer will keep your plants watered without you needing to worry about it. These systems last a long time and usually take a small amount of maintenance once a year. Good luck with the dry heat this summer.