What to do during periods of abnormally hot & dry conditions
In low altitudes, we all know it gets hot in the summer. Houston is no stranger to the occasional bouts of extreme heat! When daytime highs reach 100° or more for 3+ days in a row, this is considered extreme heat. During such weather trees and plants simply require more water to survive. In addition, the hot sun tends to dry out soil more rapidly. During these conditions, it’s usually necessary to provide more water than normal to your trees & plants. When providing additional water, it’s best to water in the evening to allow maximum absorption by the trees & plants before the next days heat.
Watch your trees & plants closely during extreme heat. It’s normal for some plants to wilt during the day. This is the plants way to minimize water loss. Some leaf scorch is possible during extreme heat. If you trees or plants experience drastic wilting (doesn’t recover at night) or drastic leaf loss, call us for more detailed advice. Keep a good eye on soil conditions. It doesn’t need to stay sopping wet all the time, but don’t let it dry out completely either. If you have further questions on caring for your trees & plants during extreme heat, please contact your closest Big Tex Nursery.
Frost and Freeze Protection
Protect your trees and plants from the freeze
Normal winter time conditions in and around our lower altitude areas include a few nights where the temperatures may reach below freezing (32F) at official weather reporting stations. In outlying and lower lying areas, actual temperatures may be even lower. In an abnormally cold period, temperatures can reach the lower twenties or even colder. If you have questions on the hardiness of your plants or how cold your particular area gets, please call your closest Big Tex Nursery. Smaller and newly planted trees and shrubs tend to be the most susceptible to damage from cold weather. All trees and plants can benefit from the following measures to help prevent damage from frost & freezing conditions:
As weird as it may sound, the laws of thermodynamics prove that it is more difficult to cool humid air than dry air, so be sure to thoroughly water all of your trees and plants during periods of forecast frost or freeze. In addition, get your entire yard wet in the evening before forecast/ freeze. This boosts humidity in the immediate microclimate and will help minimize the effects of frost/freeze on your trees and plants.
Where feasible, cover plants with a frost cloth or old blankets during nights of forecast/ freeze. DO NOT USE PLASTIC. Plastic actually increases the danger. For larger trees and plants, you can apply Frost Proof insulating spray. This applies a thin lay of wax-like substance that minimizes evaporation from the leaves, thus minimizing frost/freeze damage. Frost Cloth & Frost Proof spray are available at all Big Tex Nurseries.
People have had success in preventing frost/freeze damage by stringing up Christmas lights in their trees. The older style lights (incandescent) provide the best warming effect. Sometimes it's only a few degrees that will make a huge difference. Although there methods are proven to minimize the effects of abnormally cold weather on trees & plants, due to the uncontrollable nature of weather, there are no guarantees of success.