Taking Care of Your Plants in the Summer and Fall
Taking care of your plants in the summer and fall is essential to ensure their health and prepare them for the changing seasons. Here are some helpful tips for plant care during these times of the year.
Summer Care Tips
Tip #1: Water Regularly
Summer can bring hot and dry weather, so watering your plants regularly is crucial. Water deeply to encourage deep root growth, and water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation. Make sure to adhere to your area’s summer watering restrictions to help decrease water costs.
Tip #2 Apply Mulch
Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of your plants. Mulch helps retain moisture, regulates soil temperature, and suppresses weeds. Aim for two to four inches of mulch around your plants, as too little mulch allows weeds to poke through, and excess mulch can hinder water from reaching the soil.
Tip #3 Practice Restorative Pruning
Regularly prune dead or damaged branches to promote better airflow and plant shape. Ensure plants are well hydrated and avoid pruning in extreme heat to decrease heat stress for your plants and you.
Tip #4 Feed Your Plants
Provide your plants with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer during the summer months. However, avoid fertilizing during extreme heat to prevent burning the roots.
Tip #5 Shade
If you have sensitive plants that can't tolerate intense sunlight, consider providing them with some shade during the hottest parts of the day. You can shield your plants with sunshades, white sheets, or screens from the sun’s rays.
Tip #6 Pest and Disease Control
Watch for pests and signs of disease. Early detection and intervention are crucial in preventing severe infestations or spread.
Tip* If you are battling Aphids or Spider-Mites, common pests in Colorado, they can be combatted by introducing a natural predator such as Lady Bugs. You can purchase Lady Bugs in bulk from Lowes and Home Depot stores.
Fall Care Tips
Tip #1 Watering
As the weather cools down, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Plants might require less watering frequency depending on the temperature and precipitation amounts.
Tip #2 Fall Planting
Fall is an excellent time to plant certain species as the soil is still warm, promoting root establishment before winter. Consider planting bulbs, perennials, and cool-season vegetables.
Tip #3 Fertilize in Early Fall
Although some might feel that they should only fertilize their yard and plants during the spring and summer, the fall is also a great time. Apply a balanced fertilizer in early fall to provide essential nutrients for your plants' root development over the winter. When a plant is fertilized correctly, it helps it bounce back during early spring.
Tip #4 Watch the Forecast
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to protect sensitive plants from early frost with blankets, tarps, or buckets, depending on their size.
Tip #5 Pruning
Before the growing season ends, prune dead or diseased branches to prevent problems from spreading and shape the plants as needed.
Tip #6 Prepare Your Bulbs for Spring
If you have bulbs like tulips or daffodils, let their foliage die naturally before cutting them back. This allows the bulbs to store energy for the next growing season.
4 Great Plants for Colorado Landscaping
While there are a variety of plants that can accentuate your outdoor space, here are four options known to thrive in Colorado.
Rocky Mountain Columbine
This beautiful blue flower is the state flower for Colorado but also comes in white, red, yellow, and violet. It can be grown in partial and full- sun.
The violet Russian Sage prefers drier soil and lots of sunlight, ideal for the xeriscaped yards around the metro. This shrub can grow 3’-5’ tall and spread 2’-3’.
The Zinnia plant is the perfect selection for walkways and window boxes due to the vast number of blooms these plants produce. The flowers can be enjoyed in fuchsia, pink, red, and yellow.
Sugar Maple Tree
While many different Maple tree varieties are known to grow well in Colorado, we love the Sugar Maple for the vibrant red and orange and red leaves that this specific type of Maple tree produces. These beautiful trees can grow to 40’-80’ tall when they reach maturity.
The Bottom Line