Get  It Growing: Landscaping possibilities during extreme summer heat

Source: LSU AgCenter
Source: LSU AgCenter
Source: LSU AgCenter
Source: LSU AgCenter
Source: LSU AgCenter
Source: LSU AgCenter

It's so hot outside, you might rather be in the shade when working with your plants.

During the mid- to late summer season here in Louisiana, the heat is so extreme that it's not a particularly good time of the year to plant hardy trees and shrubs in our landscape. To expect them to settle in and establish when the heat is so intense is really asking a lot of plants.

However, there is one area of your landscape where planting is entirely possible this time of the year, and that's shady areas.

I don't know about you, but I would much rather work in the shade in July and August than working out in the sun. So, look at your shady areas.

If you want to boost them up with some beautiful plants, even plants that bloom, this is a time of year that you can add those.

Make sure you prepare the soil well. Till it up, add some good organic matter like compost, work that thoroughly into the soil, and then you're ready to plant.

There are a wide variety of plants that you can see when you go to your nurseries this time of the year. Go right to the shade section. These little plants love to grow in the shade. Stay out of the sunny areas. Those plants aren't going to be what you're looking for. But these plants will thrive in the shade.

Since shade is more moderate in temperature and not as stressful, we can get away with planting. Do make sure that you water regularly and thoroughly if we don't get regular rainfall to get these plants on their feet.

Some of the plants that do well include hostas with their many different leaf shapes and colors and variegations. They produce some pretty flowers as well.

The Chinese indigo plant is a great option. It produces little pink wisteria-like flower clusters through the summer season, and that's just touching the tip of the iceberg.

Ferns are a wonderful group of plants to look at planting as well.

So if you have some shady areas and you're anxious to get some planting done, feel free to do so despite the heat.

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