Summertime in Georgia means a lot of things. Vacations, pools, cookouts, and heat. If you have lived in the south for more than a few minutes, you know how hot it is. Fans and air conditioners become newly discovered friends. Looking outside, you start to see spring annuals struggling, blooms wilting, and vibrant greens sometimes fading to brown. Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of options for vibrant summer colors, extreme heat tolerance, and some revitalization for your existing landscape.
Crape Myrtles offer bright striking bloom color, and can withstand the Georgia inferno some people call July and August. With several varieties available, you can incorporate the perfect color into your landscape. Driving or walking through downtown Newnan is almost a Crape Myrtle showroom. Tuscarora gives a bright pinkish red bloom with a moderate height, while the striking white blooms of the Natchez make a dominant presence in many yards.
For hedges and shrubs, Encore Azaleas withstand smoldering temperatures, have multiple bloom cycles, and give many years of healthy landscape coverage. For taller options, Cleyera is a great addition for screening. It’s waxy green leaves with an occasional red tint stand up the most extreme heat. This evergreen is a rapid grower, and looks great in any landscape application. Adding a few Drift Roses for some exceptional ground cover is always a plus.
On the smaller side, portulaca, cone flowers, sun-patiens, zinnias, and Mexican Heather are just a few of many heat-tolerant flowers that will add incredible color and dimension to beds and containers. Varying heights make natural tiers in what could otherwise be a sweltering wasteland.
Your plants need cover! Just like putting on sunscreen, give your roots an extra barrier from the sun. I recommend Cowart Mulch. Adding mulch not only increases aesthetic value, it gives an extra, and extremely beneficial layer of moisture retention. A bed with mulch in place will retain more water, and help feed plants throughout the hottest part of the day.
No landscape is complete without FoxFarm. TigerBloom® fertilizer is specifically designed for later blooms and longer lasting, healthier plants. The high amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen promote vigorous growth and multiple bud development for even the longest lasting summer. Boomerang® fertilizer is a great addition to any gardener’s arsenal of tools. The unique design and formula give an incredible opportunity for repairing damaged root tissue, recovery, and improving overall health. If plants need to be treated for fungi or insects, a couple of applications of Boomerang® after treatment will help with a speedy recovery. It’s also great for using on plants that may have gone several days without water.
Most importantly, and especially this time of year, water. Water everything. Whenever possible, water your plants early in the morning to help ensure great presence and color all day.