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Your Yard's Worst Enemy…RECORD BREAKING HEAT

Will it ever cool off?  Will the heat break before I break my leg in the cracks forming in my lawn?  We all know how important water is to maintaining a healthy lawn & landscape. However, with the vast majority of the state in extreme drought, the water supply has become so depleted that a large number of cities have begun rationing programs to conserve water. How do you know if your lawn is under drought stress? Symptoms include grass leaves turning a dull, bluish color; leaf blades rolling or folding; and footprints that remain in the grass after you walk across the lawn. Don’t panic, you can still keep your lawn & landscape in good condition with these helpful and common sense tips.

Water by the drop.  Using drip irrigation for flowerbeds, ground cover, vegetable gardens and container plants benefits not only the plants but your wallet, too! A drip system saves water by allowing you to target water at or near plan root zones. If you already have spray heads in place, you can use adapters to convert from spray to drip.

Replace that thirsty turf. Replacing little-used areas of your lawn with other types of landscaping and water-stingy plants will lower your outdoor watering needs.

Add some mulch to the mix. A three-to-four inch layer of mulch, like bark or wood chips, in flower beds or around trees and shrubs will help retain moisture and limit weed growth.

Grow native. Native and adapted plants thrive on less water, can take the Texas heat and are easier to maintain. Find more information at www.txsmartscape.com.

Mow your grass often enough to remove no more than one-third of the leaf blade at any one time.

Reduce the amount of fertilizer applied to keep nitrogen levels low.

Aeration of the lawn will significantly improve the efficiency of water moving into the soil surface.

Use a shower or fan type nozzle on your hose to evenly disperse the water.

Remember, it is better for the overall health of a lawn to water infrequently (when drought symptoms appear) but deeply enough to wet the soil to the recommended depth. This reduces disease, helps air to move to the plant roots, and conserves water.

Until next month, stay cool, and water wisely!