Watering midwestern landscapes

R. L. Rhodes
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The Midwest is blessed with rich soil that can make growing a snap. The closer you get to the Rockies, though, the harder it can be to come by adequate rainfall. According to the national Climate Prediction Center, the further west you go in the Midwestern states, the more you should expect drought conditions through at least July. In the meantime, use the following tips to help your lawn and landscape get through the lean times.

  • To make sure your plants have ample time to absorb the water before evaporation sets in, plan on watering your lawn or landscape at night or at dawn.
  • A healthy layer of mulch can help keep moisture close to the soil, while keeping roots cool during the peak of summer heat.
  • Determine ahead of time which plants will have the most urgent water needs during a drought. Water those first, and move on to the more drought tolerant plants only if you have enough water left in reserve.
  • The juniper trees (Juniperus virginiana) and bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) are drought-tolerant trees native to the central states; for shrubs, try the potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa) or blue juniper (Juniperus scopulorum).

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