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4 garden maintenance tips for droughts

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

A few smart, garden maintenance choices can help your lawn and garden make it through a drought without much damage. Here are four garden maintenance tricks to try:

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  • Less weeds
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  1. Mow high. A longer lawn might look a little shaggy to you, but an extra inch or two shades out weeds, helps strengthen roots, and fights water loss.

  2. Water in the morning. When to water may be up for debate in other seasons, but in hot, dry weather the answer is always "in the morning." If you water early, the water won't evaporate before it gets to the roots of plants and grass. If you water later in the day, the sun can sap moisture before it has a chance to do its work.

  3. Skip the lawn fertilizing. Fertilizing in the heat of summer is a disastrous idea. You're almost guaranteed to scorch your lawn. What your yard needs is to put all its resources into hanging tough until conditions improve, not pushing out new growth. Wait until September to fertilize, and you'll have much happier grass.

  4. Let your lawn go dormant. This may sound like heresy to green lawn lovers, but if there's a shortage of water in your area, sometimes the best idea is to let your lawn go dormant during the summer, endure a month or two of that yellow-brown hue, and know that it will come back strong when the fall rains return.

Whatever the conditions in your area this summer, a little garden maintenance know-how can help your yard survive and thrive.

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