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  • Drought Care

  • The obvious answer to drought stress on lawns is to apply water. Deep, infrequent watering to the depth of the root system is the ideal situation. This should be done when lawns show the first signs of drought stress, such as wilting, darkening color, and footprints remaining after walking across the lawn.

    Water in early morning, if possible. Evening watering is fine although it may contribute to disease problems.

    • Water plants slowly and deeply at least once each week during very hot and dry weather. Apply water around the base of herbaceous plants (vegetables, flower and herbs so that it percolates down through the soil to the root zone.
    • Control weeds and shrubs, vegetables and flowers. Weeds can out-compete cultivated garden plants for water and nutrients.
    • Mulch around plants to keep weeds down, conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperatures. Organic mulches, such as bark, shredded leaves, grass clippings and straw are preferred because they improve soil structure and return nutrients to the soil upon decomposition. Apply mulches no deeper than 2-3 inches.
    • Any newly planted trees, shrubs or evergreens will need to be watered during dry periods at the base of the plant outwards towards the edge of the planting hole.
    • Plants growing in a southern or western exposure will require more water than a northern or eastern exposure even though they are already established.
    • Avoid applying excess nitrogen fertilizer during hot, dry conditions because they can damage root systems. Wait until the early September period for fertilizing most lawns, rather than summer.