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Sizzling summer

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first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaWater restrictions aren’t the only threat to green Georgia lawns.The searing summer heat is scorching landscapes across the state.If your landscape plants are taking a beating from the heat,they’ll send out signals. University of Georgia horticulturistssay the hydrangeas and impatiens in your flower beds are theposter plants for heat and drought stress. If they look droopy,take this as a sign that all your plants need water. Cut back and help rootsIf your annuals and perennials continue to be heat stressed, UGAexperts say cut them back about halfway. If they are wiltingbadly, cutting them back will help them survive.Reducing the plant’s top will place less demand on its roots. Theplant will come back in a few weeks and bloom again in the fall.The same strategy works for woody ornamentals like gardenias orhydrangeas. Cut them back to one-half or one-third of theirnormal size.When summer weather brings dry weather and heat for more than 20days, homeowners have to make lifesaving, or life-losing,landscape decisions. UGA horticulturists suggest basing yourdecisions on replacement value. Select your most valuable treesor shrubs, and water them. Herbaceous plants can be easilyreplaced. Water fescue firstFlowers aren’t the only plants that suffer from heat stress. Yourhome lawn suffers, too.If your lawn is fescue, you must keep it watered if you want itto survive. Bermuda and many other grasses go semidormant andturn a little yellow when heat- and drought-stressed. But, unlikefescue, they will recover pretty well with the first rainfall.UGA experts recommend giving your lawn about an inch of water perweek. And they suggest watering early in the morning for the bestuse of water.last_img


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