Drought Damage

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 make sure to water when rainfall is scarce – whenever in doubt don’t wait!

A plants root system sustains the plant with the moisture and nutrients it takes in from the soil. For trees and shrubs, as well as 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 the plants to suffer. Even if you start watering at the first signs of trouble (leaf wilt, tip browning) chances are that damage has already begun occurring to the plants root system. That is why it is best to water before plants “tell” you that they need additional help.

When moisture does return plants go into a recovery mode. Lawns will need a lat of water as grass plants that survived the drought spread to fill in the bare areas left by the death of crowns of some plants. Some lawns will need over-seeding or even a total renovation if damage is too severe.

For larger plants that have been without water, the diminished root system may be unable to supply all the moisture and nutrients that the plant needs. New shoots and twigs may not be sent out for years. This will not happen 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 of diseases that invade stressed plants.

Protect your plants and water!