on Photos to Enlarge)
to late summer of 2003!
Have you forgotten to water anything? Have you been counting the number of days
since we had any significant rainfall? Summer is usually dry in Kansas City,
especially in August. However, many of our local suburbs are experiencing a record
number of consecutive days without rainfall. Personally, I’m tired of spending
so much time watering. It makes me ill to find plants on job sites that are stressed
out from lack of water. I am not sure how far behind we are at this time, but
suffice it to say that it is dry and hot and that your landscape likely needs
Many plants, especially newly planted trees, are struggling. I have seen trees
that have been planted 2-3 years ago defoliate from lack of adequate watering.
This is most noticeable in the various city plantings where plants receive minimal
watering. If your landscape plantings are not automatically watered via a sprinkler
system (as they should be), please be sure to water them by hand as needed. Yes,
this will likely require a hose. If you do have a sprinkler system, be sure to
monitor its activity by watching it operate on each zone. You will be able to
make sure that it is watering properly, is watering long enough per zone, and
is providing adequate coverage. We have many clients with shrub irrigation whose
spray heads are blocked from the growth of their plantings, creating dry spots
in their landscape and plants being missed. Please let us know if we can help
you solve any irrigation coverage issues.
During this time of the year, most lawns should be watered about 4 times per
week (if you prefer green over brown)--more for Bluegrass and maybe less for
Fescue. Spray zones should be set for around 15-20 minutes per zone, while gear
zones should be set for about 30+ minutes per zone. If you still are attempting
to grow a Bluegrass lawn, perhaps this heat spell will convince you to give up
and convert it to Fescue. Most shrub zones should be watered about 3 times per
week, while annual flowers may require daily watering.
If you have any of the following plants in your landscape, please be sure that
they are receiving adequate moisture:
Inkberry Holly Virginia Sweetspire All Azaleas
All Ash Compact Burningbush Japanese Maple
River Birch Tulip Tree Blackgum
Bald Cypress Red Maple Doublefile Viburnum
Certain plants are much more sensitive to the dry conditions than others, and
will show signs of stress much quicker and will often die without adequate moisture.
If your landscape is 2 years old or less, be sure to monitor all plantings very
closely during this extended dry period. Be especially cautious of plantings
under large trees since the roots of large trees tend to sap the soil of excess
We try to assist our landscape management clients by inspecting their landscapes
on a routine basis to make sure their plantings are receiving adequate moisture,
however, it becomes nearly impossible to manage the watering for all of our clients.
This is a responsibility that everyone must take seriously for a healthy landscape,
and if they wish to avoid the cost of replacing plants.
Just remember that fall and rain will soon be here, I think, I hope. Good luck
Sincerely, Troy M. Gormally, President