UNL Extension educator Nicole Stoner says the phones at the Gage County office have been ringing with questions about the heat and the scattered rain.
“We’ve been getting an inch here and an inch there which helps, but because our spring was so dry, we started off low so it’s really hard to fully come back from that,” Stoner says. “I’ve had a lot of calls from people asking, ‘What’s wrong with my plants?’ It’s a heat and water issue.”
It’s not even summer yet and Nebraska’s already seen many days of at least 90-degrees. Stoner says homeowners -do- have the option of -not- watering their lawns.
“You have to pick. Are you going to let it go dormant, maybe turn a little brown in the summertime, or are you going to water it and if you want to water it, give it an inch or an inch-and-a-half per week,” she says. “The best time to water is 4 AM to 10 AM. If you have an underground irrigation system, run it then.”
Whichever way you decide, Stoner says homeowners need to stick to a schedule if they water their lawns. She says trouble starts when the watering process is suddenly stopped.
“If you’re a regular waterer and then you go on a two-week vacation and you turn your water off, then you’ve got problems,” she says. “Your lawn was used to getting that water for that long and then, all of the sudden, it doesn’t have it. You can be a non-waterer that waters a little bit, but you don’t want to be a regular waterer and stop.”
In addition to lawns and gardens, she says homeowners need to make sure trees and shrubs are also watered during the summer heat.
By Dave Niedfeldt, KWBE, Beatrice