Cincinnati is smothering under heat and humidity right now. If the dog days have your garden and landscaping looking a bit tired, here are some tips to try:
Take a close look at your window boxes, hanging baskets and potted plants and flowers. Deadhead or remove any plants that are spent. You can fill in gaps and inject fresh color with annuals like coleus. Or, with weeks of heat ahead, consider switching to succulents in your containers. You can find a wide variety of sizes and leaf shapes in these plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions. Succulents grow in subtle shades of green, blue, pink and purple that mix and match beautifully. Be careful not to overwater.
It’s not too late to plant perennials, just be sure to look for those that are drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant. Coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, daylily and coneflower are good candidates for Cincinnati landscaping. Water them regularly and they’ll reward you with a return engagement year after year.
Saved by Salvia
At Seiler’s Landscaping, salvia is one of our workhorse perennials. It can rebloom if snipped back and is somewhat tolerant of dry conditions. The tall spiky flowers make beautiful borders. You can choose annual or perennial salvia. Deep purple is a well-loved classic, but cultivars of salvia are also available in a range of colors.
You can keep weeds at bay, conserve moisture and keep soil cooler with mulch. While you don’t want too thick a layer of mulch (2 to 3 inches is good), adding a bit more can give your landscaping back some of its crisp edge. Remember to avoid piling mulch up around trees. You don’t want to create a mulch “volcano” around the trunk. Instead create a “donut” shape, leaving space around the trunk.
Cut with Caution
While many plants do best with late winter or spring pruning, you can continue to cut back unruly non-flowering shrubs in the summer. If you shear or shape hedges in your yard, it’s best to stop approximately six weeks before the average first frost. In Cincinnati, you should hang up the hedge clippers around September 1.
Don’t blame a sad-looking yard on the season--it could be your landscaping is ready for a facelift. Most landscaping has about a 12-year lifespan. Dated yards will show their age with overgrown shrubs or other tell-tale signs. If you’d like to discuss options for a new look, contact us for a free consultation.