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Summer Watering Tips for Your Northern Virginia Landscape

Summer in Northern Virginia can be a beautiful yet challenging time for maintaining your garden and lawn. The heat can be intense, and without proper watering, your plants can suffer. If you reside in Great Falls, McLean, Vienna, or Arlington, VA, here’s some Summer watering tips for your landscape.

Understanding Your Landscape’s Needs

The first step to proper summer watering is understanding your landscape’s specific needs. Northern Virginia has a diverse climate, and each plant has unique water requirements. Here’s how we can cater to them effectively:

  1. Plant Selection: At Lucas & Clark, we carefully select native plants and those well-suited to the local climate that generally require less water. For example, many local perennials and shrubs are drought-tolerant once established.
  2. Soil Analysis: Our team conducts a thorough soil analysis to determine the best watering practices. Sandy soils drain quickly and require more frequent watering, while clay soils hold moisture longer and need less frequent watering but in larger amounts.

Summer Watering Tips

Proper watering techniques are crucial to ensure your landscape thrives:

  1. Deep Watering: Instead of watering lightly every day, we recommend deep watering but less frequently. This encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil, making plants more drought-resistant. Aim for watering that penetrates at least six inches into the soil.
  2. Early Morning Watering: Water your plants early in the morning to reduce evaporation and allow the plants to absorb moisture before the heat of the day. In hot and drought conditions, we ensure to water early mornings and daily to provide sufficient moisture.
  3. Avoid Over-Watering: Over-watering can be as damaging as under-watering. It can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. Our team ensures the soil has time to dry out between watering sessions.

Check out this helpful video by Casey Trees, that walk you through how to water your trees, plants, and shrubs.

Efficient Irrigation Systems

Consider investing in an efficient irrigation system to make watering easier and more consistent. Lucas & Clark Grounds Company can help with the installation and maintenance of these systems:

  1. Drip Irrigation: Drip systems deliver water directly to the plant roots, reducing water waste and evaporation. They are particularly effective for flower beds, vegetable gardens, and shrubbery.
  2. Smart Irrigation Controllers: These systems can adjust watering schedules based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels, ensuring your landscape gets the right amount of water.

Mulching for Moisture Retention

Mulching is an excellent way to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed growth. Lucas & Clark Grounds Company provides professional mulching services:

  1. Organic Mulch: We use organic mulch such as wood chips, bark, or straw. These materials decompose over time, enriching the soil and improving its water retention capabilities.
  2. Proper Application: Our experts apply mulch to a depth of 2-4 inches around your plants, ensuring it doesn’t touch the plant stems directly to prevent rot.

Lawn Care Tips

Your lawn requires special care during the summer, and we are here to provide it:

  1. Mow High: We set our mower blades higher during the summer. Taller grass shades the soil, reducing evaporation and protecting roots from heat.
  2. Water Deeply: Like other plants, lawns benefit from deep watering. We water your lawn early in the morning, providing enough water to soak 6-8 inches deep.
  3. Aeration: Our team can aerate your lawn in late spring or early summer to improve water infiltration and root growth.

Special Considerations for Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs are significant investments in your landscape and require proper watering to thrive. Lucas & Clark Grounds Company offers specialized care:

  1. Soaker Hoses: We use soaker hoses to water trees and shrubs. These hoses release water slowly and deeply, ensuring thorough soaking of the root zone.
  2. Watering Newly Planted Trees: New trees need more water to establish roots. We water them deeply once a week, ensuring the water reaches 12-18 inches into the soil.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Finally, always monitor your landscape’s condition and adjust watering as necessary.

  1. Check Soil Moisture: Use soil moisture meters or simply dig a small hole to check if the soil is moist a few inches below the surface.
  2. Weather Adjustments: Adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions. Watering is reduced during rainy periods and increased during extended dry spells.


Keeping your landscape lush and healthy during the summer in Northern Virginia doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By understanding your plants’ needs, using efficient watering techniques, and employing the right tools, you can ensure your garden remains a vibrant oasis. At Lucas & Clark Grounds Company, we’re passionate about helping our community maintain beautiful and sustainable landscapes. For personalized advice, more Summer watering tips, or professional landscaping services, don’t hesitate to contact us.