Wednesday, April 24, 2013
PONOKA NEWS Page 21
Help your lawn thrive through the dog days of summer Summer can take its toll on just about everyone. Even the most ardent fan of summer eventually grows weary of a heat wave, which can make something as simple as walking down the street seem exhausting. While human beings have their ways of surviving summer heat, such survival can be more difficult for your lawn and garden. Certain grasses and plants thrive in hot weather. But when the dog days of summer arrive, even those grasses and plants built to withstand the summer sun can suffer. That’s why watering takes on such importance in the summertime, when grasses and plants need water to avoid drying out and possibly even dying. The following are a few basic watering techniques to help homeowners keep their lawns going strong through the next summer swoon. • Water when it’s coolest. Watering when the temperatures are their lowest might seem counterintuitive. After all, homeowners might think their grass and gardens need water most when the temperature is at its highest. But watering when the temperature is cooler decreases evaporation, meaning your lawn will get the water it needs and won’t lose any to steamy conditions that
r restriction. Mulch also makes it diffficult for weeds to grow, which can kkeep homeowners from spending hot ssummer afternoons pulling weeds oout of their gardens and flowerbeds. • Strategically locate sprinklers. Sprinklers should be located so no S water is ending up on the driveway w oor sidewalks around your property. Watering the concrete or asphalt is W wasteful, and that’s water that could w
Effective watering can help a lawn and garden survive the dog days of summer. cause evaporation. This is es- it needs to be watered largely depecially important when the pends on how deep its roots are. amount of water you can use is A plant with shallow roots won’t limited by a drought restriction. need to be watered for long peYou’ll want to make sure the wa- riods of time, but it will need to ter you can use is actually going be watered frequently, whereas a to the lawn and not evaporating deep-rooted plant like a tree or a as you’re watering. shrub will need to be watered for Watering in the early morn- long periods of time but not as ing or in the evening, when the frequently. Research the plants sun is not as strong and the tem- around your property to deterperatures are generally at their mine the depths of their root coolest, also reduces the likeli- systems and water accordingly. hood that your grass will burn. • Lean on mulch to retain That’s because water attracts the moisture. Mulch is often sun, and a lawn that’s wet in the considered an aesthetically apmiddle of a hot day might attract pealing addition to a landscape, too much sun and cause the lawn but it serves a practical purpose to burn. as well. Mulch retains moisture • Recognize that not all plants during the hot summer months, are the same. How much water reducing the need to water — a a plant needs and how frequently valuable benefit during a drought
be going toward your plants. When watering by hand, be sure all of the water is finding its way to plants and not on any walkways. Successfully watering a lawn and garden during the dog days of summer can greatly reduce the risk of ending summer with a lawn full of bald spots and a garden filled with wilted plants.
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April 24, 2013 edition of the Ponoka News