This is the time of year everyone starts to stress over their yards and gardens. The media usually discusses a water shortage, and the likelihood of a watering ban. So here is my take on the whole matter, and you can read my past blog posts about this matter as well.
Turf grass such as fescues and bluegrass are cool-season perennials. They grow during the cool season, and stress during the hotter dryer months. If the USDA continues to change our zone, and if we continue in this warmer climate pattern, these cool season grasses may become inappropriate for this area, but until then, we have to deal with what has been handed to us.
Watering your lawns this time of year will assist in keeping it green, but there are a lot of things going on "under the surface" that we need to keep in mind. First and foremost is irrigation water and water from your water supply is full of contaminates, and will never give your yard the same watering effect of nice natural rain.
Secondly, watering your yard artificially and frequently in this heat will be an invitation to weeds, such as the dreaded nut sedge. Thirdly, you may be doing more harm than good. Most cool-season turfs will go into a state of dormancy during drought conditions. In many cases this is the best way for your turf to survive. When turf is put into a dormant state, it only needs infrequent watering to keep the roots supplied. Watering your turf frequently where it constantly goes from a dormant state to an active state stresses the turfs resiliency, and often kills the turf completely. I, as a tree person, would also prefer you save that precious water for your trees as well. Due to the severity of our drought and time constraints, we are solely focused on keeping our trees and shrubs watered.
I am not a huge fan of turf grass personally, but I have had to learn to tolerate its presence as a staple specimen in my industry. It is a historic plant that has become the most common organism in yards nation wide. It is my hope that we are now on the backside of this tradition, and we will see the traditional yard slowly fade from existence. Native plants are much more suited to conditions here in this area, and have literally millions of years of practice. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a large prairie or savanna swaying in the breeze, while our yards fry under the Missouri sun.
Well, there are so many things to blog about and so little time! We are halfway through the year, and I have missed opportunities for great blog posts in the spring, but I have lots of ammunition for future posts! Stayed rooted, and I will see you outside!