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Caring for your landscape can be tricky, especially if you have a variety of plants in different areas. Luckily, we’ve got great landscaping tips to keep your plants looking robust and bright during the hot summer months. Here are some of the ways you can keep your plants in tip-top shape in the Wheaton, IL, summer:
Sunlight is an important part of every plant’s growth, so giving each plant the right amount is crucial to its development and health. Some plants need full sun, others partial sun, and some thrive in the shade. It’s important to know what each plant prefers, and keep plants with similar needs in the same area. Plants like lilacs and roses prefer full sun, and can be placed in direct sunlight. They need sunlight to keep their leaves dry, which prevents disease and helps them thrive. Other species, like hostas, can tolerate a good amount of shade if cared for properly. More delicate plants will burn in too much sun, and need the cover of shade.
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The water needs of your landscape increase during the hot summer months. The sun and hot air dry out the soil, depleting water and nutrients from your planting area. Keeping track of how much water your landscape gets is critical to planting success. Some plants need more water than others, so knowing how much water each plant needs can make the difference between life and death. For plants that like a moist bed, be sure to apply a heavy layer of wood chip mulch, like cedar. The mulch keeps the water in the soil, prevents weeds, and if you choose cedar mulch, can even repel certain types of pests like ticks. If you notice your soil still drying out on a hot day, perhaps consider installing a sprinkler or irrigation system that will deliver water to your plants all day long.
Gentle pruning can be a helpful tool for keeping your landscape looking healthy. While heavy pruning is done for most plants in the early spring or late fall, sometimes plants can benefit from a light pruning. Mowing the lawn is essentially pruning, and it prevents the grass from going to seed, keeping it lush and green. Plants like roses benefit from a light pruning, like deadheading expired blooms and wilted foliage. If a plant starts to get yellow leaves or dried out foliage, it may be a sign that the plant is under stress. Gently pruning away dead leaves or foliage will allow the plant to dedicate more resources to the thriving parts of the plant. This will make it grow bigger and better, and lead to a healthier plant.
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Companion planting is the practice of growing plants next to each other that mutually benefit from their neighbor in one way or another. For example, growing a tall bushy plant next to one that needs some shade can keep it cool and provide a critical shield from the sun. If you have plants that need good drainage, a deep rooting plant like a small tree can be a great way to keep water from sitting on the top layers. Some plants even attract beneficial insects that can help to control harmful bugs. Ladybugs are one example of a beneficial insect as they can eat aphids and other insects that feast on your plants. Ladybugs love herbs and certain flowers like geraniums, so plant these where you want beneficial insects to protect vulnerable species.