While we encourage summer planting, you do need to keep in mind that transporting and planting on a hot summer day will cause some stress. Here are some tips for planting in hot weather:
- Root control bags are porous and dry out quickly. Bring a tarp to cover root balls if you are transporting trees a long distance.
- Plant as soon as you can, once you pick up or take delivery.
- If you can’t plant same day as pick up or delivery, keep plants in the shade. Cover root balls with a tarp or wet burlap and water daily until you get them in the ground.
- Dig holes prior to picking up your plants to speed up the process.
- Occasionally wet-down root bags. It’s a good idea to do this right after transporting and if they have been sitting out in the sun for an hour or two before getting them in the ground.
This is the time of year when we get multiple phone calls from customers who had spring plantings and are now concerned with the progress of their trees. They are saying leaves are turning yellow and falling off. We notice a trend; people get used to a spring watering schedule but don’t increase watering enough as temperatures increase. We have had a lot of nice, cool, wet weather which is great for establishing plants but you will most likely need to bump up watering in July and August. Also, with wet weather, it is common to falsely assume rainfall amounts are adequate. Keep in mind that your new tree’s roots are confined to a very small area so it has limited resources until they grow. Watering can be a complicated issue, so our best advice is to check soil moisture twice a week to know if you need to water or not. Don’t assume things are wet or dry until you feel the soil. The top few inches may appear dry or wet so use a trowel to dig down 4”-6” to know the exact moisture level.
We now have a handy watering guide to help you out. Click the button at the bottom of this blog post.
Japanese Beetle Watch
Tis the season for Japanese Beetles to make an appearance. They usually show up in central Iowa around the first week in July. They are easy to identify; about the size of a large pea with bright, metallic green wing covers and tufts of white hairs on both sides of their abdomen. You may have been noticing False Japanese Beetles in the last few weeks. These are not nearly as bright green and are lacking the white tufts and do relatively small amounts of damage. True Japanese Beetles on the other hand, are invasive, non-natives and are much more problematic. Check our blog again in a few weeks for another post with ways to deal with these pesky pests.