Summer Gardens: How Proper Irrigation Keeps Plants Healthy

A healthy summer garden in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood.

Proper irrigation is essential all year-round, but especially during the summer. The rising temperatures are hard on plants and cause water to evaporate more quickly, making it even more challenging for plants to get the water they need when they need it most. In this blog, we dig into the importance of proper irrigation and strategies for improving your landscape in the dead of summer.

Irrigation in the Summer

To make the most of your irrigation efforts during the summer, it’s recommended to following a morning watering schedule. This helps reduce evaporation, allowing the water more time to penetrate the soil and reach the plant’s roots. By contrast, watering in the afternoon when the sun is near its highest point in the sky will cause the water to evaporate too quickly.

Watering frequency varies depending on several factors including plant varieties, the amount of direct sunlight your garden receives, humidity levels and whether you have mulch to help insulate your plants. During the peak summer months, it’s likely you’ll need to water more frequently than other times of the year. Professional landscape maintenance crews proactively assess temperature and humidity levels, adjusting irrigation measure as needed. They can also provide guidance on when and how often to water.

Water-wise Gardening

Water-wise gardening refers to the practice of incorporating sturdy native, drought-tolerant plants that can withstand high temperatures. These plants are ideal for summer months, especially in high heat climates such as Texas, as they add visual interest — including various textures and colors — while being easy to maintain.

Example of Drought-tolerant Plants

If you’re interested in exploring water-wise gardening, here are some popular drought-tolerant plants that are both aesthetically pleasing and low maintenance:

  • Texas Sage: Native to Texas, this evergreen shrub is a popular choice due to its purple flowers and subtle, silvery foliage.
  • Echinacea: Also known as coneflower, this hardy flower grows well in a wide variety of environments. It is a popular garden choice for its bright colorful flowers.
  • Lantana: Drought- and heat-tolerant, these flowers come in an array of eye-catching colors. They tend to grow in clusters and attract birds, making them a popular choice for pollinator gardens.
  • Lavender: Summer-blooming lavender is widely recognized for its fragrance and trumpet-like purple flowers.
  • Plumbago: This perennial flower is also referred to as sky flower, due to its distinctive bright blue petals.
  • Agave & Succulents: As desert dwellers, agave, succulents and other cacti are ideal for arid and high heat environments. These distinctive low-maintenance plants add a stunning visual element to gardens.

High heat can present a challenge to landscaping, but with the right irrigation measures in place summer gardens can continue to thrive. From consistent watering schedules to heat- and drought-resistant plantings, you can continue to enjoy your landscaping throughout the year. At Prewett, Read & Associates, we take care to develop and install irrigation systems tailormade to our clients’ landscape needs. Learn more about our irrigation and drainage services or reach out for a consultation.