Take a Post Summer Look at your Landscape

By the end of the summer many landscapes look tired and bedraggled, much like an old, well-worn sofa. On the other hand, some fall landscapes resemble newlyweds, springing from the church doors with vibrant energy. What is the difference? Take a post summer look at your landscape to see what plants did well and which ones didn’t.

Maybe the difference lies with a bit of scrutiny and preparedness. First, determine which plants bloom in what season and which are steady throughout the year. If we know when plants bloom we can prune, water, or mulch them accordingly. Those plants that remain evergreen, have great texture, or bloom for extended periods can be maintained as foundation or “backbone” plants to enhance other seasonal plants.

Second, assess which plants did best during weather extremes and in what portions of the landscape. Plants that do better during the cooler seasons may have to be pruned considerably in late summer to eliminate dead foliage and disease. Hot weather-loving plants such as firebush and esperanza may overwhelm their more restrained neighbors in late summer and might require light pruning.

Finally, consider how the landscape was watered. Watering by hand or with drip irrigation is the most efficient method, but if you use an irrigation system check to see if dry or wet spots frequently occur. The quality of every landscape is determined by the amount of water applied to each section. And often too much water is applied.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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