Are your lawn and landscape plants showing the ill effects of dry weather?
Often, damage continues to show up for a number of years after a drought. To prevent more trouble, water when rainfall is scarce- and don’t wait!
A plant’s root system sustains the plant with the moisture and nutrients it takes in from the soil. For trees and shrubs, as for grass, most roots lie in the top few inches of soil. That means when it doesn’t rain, the root zone dries out fast unless you water. When roots are water-stressed, they shrivel and die, causing plants to suffer.
Even if you start watering at the first signs of trouble, such as leaf wilt or tip browning, chances are that damage has already begun occurring to plant root systems. That’s why it’s best to water before plants tell you they need help.
When moisture does return, plants go into a recovery mode. Lawns will need lots of water as grass plants that survived the drought spread to fill in bare areas left by the death of crowns of some plants. Some lawns will need overseeding or even total renovation if the damage is too severe.
For larger plants that have been without water, the diminished root system may be unable to supply all health and moisture needs. New shoots and twigs may not be sent out for years until the root system is once again capable of both taking care of current needs and sending out new growth. Some stressed plants will eventually lose the fight to stay alive, falling prey not only to lingering effects of drought but to insects or diseases that invade stressed plants.