Summer Landscaping Tips

With longer days and the kids out of school, it can be tempting to spend the summer completely transforming your yard, adding in all sorts of new plants and changing everything up. It should be noted, though, that the hottest season is not ideal for transplanting new plants in your yard. The good news is that summer is the perfect time to get outside and tackle all the projects that have been staring you in the face for months. We’ve pulled together a list of our best summer landscaping tips for you here.

Why not plant?

The hot, dry nature of summertime adds a lot of stress to plants that are already dealing with typical transplant stress. Stressed plants have a harder time surviving—and if you’re going to invest money in landscaping, you want your plants to thrive! Spring and fall are generally the best time to transplant new life in your landscape. 

Water Wisely

Many regions are dealing with water restrictions in the face of drought. If you’re still able to water your landscape but you need to do so sparingly, there are a few different guidelines to operate by.

Sprinkler watering

Water early in the morning.

The best time to water your lawn is between 4-10 am. These hours are cooler and the wind is calmest at this time of day, so less water is whisked away from your lawn. Morning is also best because the sun will come out within a couple hours and dry the blades of grass, which aids in preventing disease.

Observe your sprinkler system.

If you notice water is running off your lawn for the last half of the irrigation cycle, cut the cycle in half—water for half the time, let the water sink into the soil, and then give it the rest of the necessary water a couple hours later. Aerate soil that seems impenetrable. Repair or replace damaged sprinkler heads, clean filters and nozzles, and clear any blockages inside or around sprinkler heads.

Water your plants deeply and infrequently.

Once plants are established in your yard, watering them deeply and infrequently encourages them to send their roots deeper, seeking for water. This results in stronger, more resilient plants. If you give your plants a small drink every day, they remain weak.

Group plants with similar water needs together, eliminating water waste and making your irrigating life easier.

Add to Your Hardscape

Since you’ll be busy planting things in the spring and fall, summer is the perfect time to add to your hardscape (man-made materials).

Up your landscape lighting game—add lights to emphasize beautiful trees or outdoor vignettes, light up a pathway, add charm to a patio or playhouse, and so on. The difference a small string of lights can make in a yard is remarkable!

HGT social

Build retaining walls, dry creek beds, and add pathways. The stone or wooden materials that you use on these hardscape projects won’t mind the summer heat at all, and getting these things done now will free up time in the fall to add plants where you’d like them. These projects often require a lot of time and effort, so summer is the perfect time to get them done. If you’ve got kids at home to help, all the better! If not, chances are there are local teenagers who are willing to help out with some of the grunt work to earn a little extra money.

Another hardscape project you could tackle is installing outdoor entertainment spaces. Envision your ideal summer night activity. Is it having barbecues with friends? Install a little patio for a grill! Is it neighborhood movie nights? Set up a space for a projector and a screen (even a blank wall or hanging a sheet works). Whatever you’d like to do more of in your yard, there’s no time like the present to start creating that space!

Maintain Your Landscape

While you don’t want to install a lot of new plants right now, there are several things you can do to maintain and care for the living landscape you already have.

Deadheading flowers is something you can do to clean up the appearance of your flower garden and encourage a longer bloom period. Deadheading is simply removing the old, spent flower blooms from your plant, either by pinching or trimming. For best results, you’ll want to trim the stem down to the first set of leaves closest to the flower.


Deadheading can also prevent prolific re-seeders from taking over your flower bed. If you are hoping to spare some seeds for future planting, though, trim off the spent blooms after the flower has gone to seed and the seed pods appear dry but intact. This way, you can harvest the seeds and plant them where you’d like to in the spring.

Summer is a great time to tidy up garden edges, planter beds, and pathway borders. Pulling weeds, trimming, and edging borders all add a polished, crisp look to a landscape. It’s also the prime time for adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to sheds, fences, and decks.


Gravel pathways can start to look a little sparse at times, due to gravel being tracked out or mud creeping up. Adding a little gravel to fill in these areas is a quick fix that makes a big difference. Mulching is another super summer activity—as time progresses, mulch breaks down. This is good news for your plants—broken down bark is organic material that feeds the soil. It can start to look a little shabby though. To retain water, regulate temperatures, and give your garden a facelift, add a fresh layer of mulch to your planter beds.

Summer Landscaping

As you can see, there’s plenty you can do to improve your landscape this summer! There are landscapes to maintain, hardscapes to install, and irrigation systems to streamline. What projects will you be tackling? Let us know in the comments!