What you plant and where you plant outside your home can have a major impact on the amount of energy you use to heat and cool the inside of your home.
The goal is to block summer sun and winter winds and to allow access to winter sun and summer breezes.
In the summer, the sun rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest. In the morning, the sun’s rays are almost perpendicular to the east wall, so there is maximum heat absorption. However, the air and the house are not heated significantly because of the cooling that took place overnight. For this reason, tree plantings are probably not necessary to shade the east wall.
The south wall receives full radiation between 11 a.m. and noon, but the sun hits the wall at such a steep angle that the amount of heat absorbed is much less than might be expected. In general, the use of trees to shade the south wall is not effective because the shadow cast is minimal. A roof overhang does a much better job.
For most of the afternoon, the west wall receives the same exposure that the east wall did earlier. However, now the sun is at maximum heating capacity, the air is hot, and the house has lost its coolness. If there is space for only one tree to protect the west wall, place it up to 25 feet from the house on a line between the 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. sun positions.
In the winter, sunrise is in the southeast and sunset in the southwest. The south wall receives nearly all of the winter’s day sun. If you plant a tree on the south wall, make sure it is a deciduous tree, which loses it leaves in the all. The sun can shine through the leafless branches during the winter.
Crape Myrtles are beautiful medium sized trees that are perfect for shading hot walls, windows and sliding glass doors.
Deciduous in winter allowing the sun to warm the home, lush green foliage emerges in spring and by the end of May a spectacular display of large, clustered flowers.
Other medium sized trees that can be planted are East Palatka or Dahoon Holly, Little Gem Magnolia, Japanese Loquat, Ligustrum, Weeping Yaupon Holly, Cherry Laurel, Bottlebrush and Fruit trees.
Lawns will start to grow rapidly again this month. It will be time to dust of the mower and check it out. Begin mowing at the recommended heights for your grass:
Bahia: 3″-4″; St. Augustine: 3″-4″; Zoysia: 1″-2″; Bermuda: 1/2″-1 1/2”
What to do in the Lawn
March is the month when bugs hatch out and weeds germinate along with all the other growth currently happening in your garden! Click here to view and download our lawn care calendar!
St. Augustine Lawns:
Hi Yield Weed and Grass Stopper is a product for use in ornamental landscape areas and established lawns. Weed and Grass stopper is a pre-emergence preventer. It will not eliminate existing established weeds. It will provide up to 4 months of control. Irrigate ½ inch following application.
Zoysia & St. Augustine Lawns:
Bug Blaster is a broad spectrum control of insect pests in lawns and landscaped areas. It controls fire ants, fleas, ticks, mole crickets and chinch bugs to name a few. Irrigate immediately after applying.
Bahia Grass Lawns:
Grub Free Zone is a product designed to eliminate grubs from your lawn before they hatch. This product provides season long control- one application. Irrigate after application.