The 5th Driest June in Ann Arbor – 2016
The remains of a tree lie over cracked ground at the almost dried out Maria Cristina reservoir near Castellon, July 25, 2014. Spain's south-east is suffering the worst drought after the driest winter in 150 years, according to local media. REUTERS/Heino Kalis (SPAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT AGRICULTURE SOCIETY) ORG XMIT: HJK01

Everything is dead

The average rainfall in Ann Arbor in the month of June is 37.55 inches.  We had 3.66 inches of rain in June this year.  Do the math people.

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The soil is dry.  Our plants are struggling.  The grass is brown.  Our water bills are high as hell.  The news is talking about “drink more water” and “wear sunscreen” like we haven’t been through this before.  The real answers to the real questions are here.

 

How much should I Water my Plants and Lawns?

If you are a lawn and/or plant nerd like me, you should be watering like crazy right now.  What does “like crazy” mean?  A minimum of 30 minutes per zone per day in lawns and 20 minutes per zone every other other day in plant zones.  If your lawn is “drought stressed” (brown and crispy) water as directed and DO NOT cut the grass until it starts greening up and growing again.  If 30 minutes per zone per day doesn’t work, increase to an hour.  Don’t give up.  Your lawn isn’t going to die from thirst, but it’s not going to be healthy once it recovers.  Don’t freak out.  Your lawn turns brown as a defense mechanism. As soon as the grass plant doesn’t have enough water, it stops sending water and nutrients to the blade.  It goes into survival mode and shuts off water and sugar transport to the grass blade: the part we cut every week.  All water and nutrients that are left in the world are reserved in the roots to keep the plant alive.  Grass plants can live without water for beyond 60 days but don’t tempt fate.  If you can afford it, and there are not watering restrictions, please water your lawns as directed in this post.

 

Plant watering

I happen to LOVE hydrangeas as many of you may or may not know.  HYDRangeas are (you guessed it) water hording plants.  It makes it easy for airheads like me because they LOOK like they are dying when they get thirsty.  Check this out:

hydrangea thirst

Annuals and other plants can be equally obvious.

 

80114291These New Guinea Impatiens are water loving animals.  They SCREAM for water if you don’t keep them hydrated.  This photo above shows you the same plant ten minutes after being watered.  All plants aren’t that obvious so you probably need some guidance.  Annuals, like every year, need 10 minutes two to three times per day.  Keep this in your mind: every landscape is different.  If your lawn and plants look like they need more water, increase it.  If they look like they are drowning, decrease it.  If you don’t know what the hell you are doing, call me.  I will come to your property and hold your hand and walk you through this.  Salient is here for you.  734-337-3261  We care about everyone’s plants and will do whatever we can to help you keep yours alive.

 

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What do the experts say?

In the meantime, I called on an unnamed expert to see what they recommended and about fell out of my seat at his response.  “I water my plants 2-3 hours per day and it’s not enough”  I am not a horticulturist but I KNOW that is wrong.  I have a thriving garden and flowers and am watering as directed in this blog post.  I have directed all of my clients to follow my watering instructions and we have had no dead plant or lawn fallout concerns.

Thank you for reading and happy watering!  Here’s to a wet July!!

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