By Bob Dailey
After almost two weeks of relentless rain, it looks like we’ll get some sunshine in June. So we’d like anyone who’s been praying for rain to pleae stop for a while.
Now, we get ready for hot weather. We’re not at dog days of summer, when temperatures hit 95 and above, but June is certainly the puppy days of summer. So we’re going to expect some heat and humnidity very soon, if it hasn’t started already.
Some fantastically beautiful summer flowering plants that do well in Montgomery County. They can withstand heat and they can withstand dry periods.
If you’ve already planted natives and non-natives adapted to southeast Texas summers, you’re already ahead of the game. We all know that our water usage escalates during the summer, By using native and adapted plants, you can seriously reduce your irrigation.
Add drip irrigation to your garden, and you’ll decrease your water bill by half or even greater. Drip irrigation gets irrigation water down to the roots of the plants, where it’s needed. That means it doesn’t splash on the leaves and soil like sprinklers do. All that splashing can cause fungal infections on plants. Also, although we can’t see it, a lot of evaporation occurs from sprinklers. Keep the sprinklers for your lawn. Use drip for your beds. You can save 30 to 70% of your outdoor water use by switching to drip. And it’s not expensive.
When in doubt, mulch!
When not in doubt, mulch!
Mulching is one of the most misunderstood gardening practice. It is the most efficient asnd least costly way to hold the water in the soil, keep weeds down and keep the soil at a more even temperature. Unless you’re absolutely sure of the source, don’t buy died mulch. Most of it is made from ground-uo pallets, decks and torn-down houses. Some of it is older than 2003, which is the year that the U.S. banned lumber companies from using chromated copper arsenate (basically arsenic) to pressure treat lumber. By natural mulch instead. And mulch everywhere you can, including trees.
Trees and shrubs
We’re still not sure whether or not a drought is pending soon, but in case it does, here’s some advice. In southeast Texas, even in a drought, all trees can survive without additional water. Shrubs are going to take water if you give it to them…like childen with candy. But try this: withhold some water from shrubs this summer. Water them lightly once a week, and see what happens. I think you’ll see that they’re going to survive well.