Arizona home builders like Camelot Homes can tell you that our state’s summer heat is often treacherous to a home’s landscape. June through August in Phoenix and the surrounding area gives rise to temperatures that average 105-degrees Fahrenheit. But your luxury home can feature stunning landscapes that look gorgeous year-round, even when the temperatures soar.
Here are four tips to keep your landscape looking great during the hottest days of the summer:
- Soil Preparation
Throughout Arizona, a great deal of the soil has a high content of clay. Clay soils can be problematic for growing plants that thrive and look great year-round, especially during the high heat of summer. Although clay soils dry out significantly in heat, they are able to hold nutrients and water well when properly prepared. Organic matter mixed into soil before planting plays an important role in helping landscape plants survive Arizona summers.
According to the Noble Foundation, “Organic matter behaves somewhat like a sponge, with the ability to absorb and hold up to 90 percent of its weight in water.” Organic matter includes grass clippings, plant remnants or anything once was living but now decomposed into what’s called humus. Humus or organic matter has a water-holding capacity that’s essential when trying to grow plants in a high heat area.
- Include Heat Tolerant Annuals
When building a new home, work closely with a landscape architect to include a variety of heat tolerant annuals. Cockscomb adds a bit of color to the landscape with blooms in red, yellow, orange and purple. This annual can grow to about two feet tall and loves full sun and heat. The Mexican sunflower is bright, cheerful and a gorgeous orange-red color when it blooms. This is a taller annual, growing to about six feet, which makes it a great choice when creating a flowering border.
Vincas have a delicate look, but this annual is super hardy and can withstand high heat as well as the drier Arizona climate. When not in bloom, vincas have a glossy, medium-green leaf and bushy spread, making them a great choice for planters and bedding flowers. Their flowers range in color from white to pink and bright rose. Vincas also bloom all summer, making them a beautiful addition to any landscape.
- Create a Watering Schedule
When working with a landscape architect for your luxury home, it is essential to discuss a watering schedule, especially when helping new plants become established. In general, a deep watering of the top soil when it feels dry is recommended. However, as the summer heat progresses, watering and irrigation may need to become more frequent. Moreover, established plants, trees, shrubs and succulents may not require as much water as new plants or non-desert types like a ficus.
- Avoid Pruning
Resist the urge to trim and prune your landscape plants and trees during summer. Plants form their own natural shade canopy with leaves from the outer branches. Pruning renders the plant or tree vulnerable to the scorching sun rays. Consult with a landscape specialist if a tree does need pruning during the height of summer.
Contact us today at Camelot Homes today for more information on building your new luxury home.