With this week’s temperatures getting into the 90s, New Leaf would like to offer a few tips to stay cool in your landscape this summer.
- Plant a shade tree:
- Shade trees like maples, oaks, and elms can provide cooling shade in the summer. When the leaves drop in the fall, sun will penetrate through the branches to keep you warm.
- Shade under trees can be 20 degrees cooler than nearby sunny areas.
- Opt for fruit bearing trees to gain an added benefit of fresh produce.
- Build a pergola:
- Pergolas over patios or gathering areas help define a space and provide some shade.
- Grow an evergreen vine on the pergola to have year-round shade, or grow a deciduous vine to have seasonal shade.
- Like trees, opt for a fruit bearing vine like grapes or kiwi to have fresh produce.
- Install a water feature:
- Water features cool down the surrounding air. A strategically placed pond or fountain can cool down a slight breeze headed toward your gathering space.
- The sound of water can help mask noise coming from busy streets.
- A pond will attract local wildlife like frogs, dragonflies, and birds.
- Use drip irrigation to water your garden:
- While drip irrigation doesn’t help you stay cool, it’ll help you reduce your water bill and keep your garden healthy in the summer.
- Drip irrigation waters plants at the roots, which reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation. Keeping water off the leaves helps to prevent plant diseases as well.
- Irrigate early in the morning or in the evening to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.