Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Drought in the Yard - A Summary

The Purdue Yard and Garden News has a new article related to the extreme drought we are experiencing (  Highlights are:

- Watch new plantings most for signs of drought injury

- Blossom end rot of tomato has been seen around Gibson County.  This is caused by infrequent watering.

- Proper mulching can conserve moisture in the landscape or garden.

- Water by soaking the soil thoroughly in one application.  This will likely require a few minutes of water applied to each area, rather than a fast, shallow application.

- Drought can be a primary cause of plant death that appears to be caused by other problems:  insects or woodpeckers, namely.  Many plant problems that appear to be insect-related only allowed the insects to feed due to the stress of drought conditions.

- The damage that occurs to landscapes now may not manifest itself this season.  The bumper crop of fruit on fruit trees this year may be the tree's last attempt to reproduce before dying back significantly or completely next year.  Likewise, buds that form this year can affect next year's growth on many landscape plants.

- Dormant yards can become dead grasses if left unwatered too long.  Apply 0.5 inches of water every 2 to 4 weeks to keep dormant lawns from becoming dead lawns.

- The best time to water is in the morning, before 8 AM.

- Leftover water from other household activities can be used sparingly as a last resort on non-edible crops.  Detergents and soaps can leave a salt buildup in the soil if used too frequently.

Greater than 100 degree Fahrenheit temperatures over the next few days will likely cause drought symptoms to exacerbate, especially with the relatively low humidities we can expect to experience.  Provide yourself plenty of water before watering plants, and keep in mind the potential for heat-related illnesses in humans, as well as plants.  For the complete article referenced here, go to

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