Ongoing drought has area plants, lawns struggling in summer heat
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - As the St. Louis region continues to battle drought conditions, lawns, plants and flowers are struggling to beat the early summer heat.
The region has experienced a relatively dry pattern over the last eight to nine months, with little rain last fall and minimal snow over the winter. Snow melt can often serve as a helpful tool in softening the soil coming out of the winter months. Since April, the region has seen just 4″ of rain.
“We’re in for a brutal summer,” said Tony Frisella of Frisella Nursery in Defiance. “That’s already apparent because this is usually when the rain subsides and we start going into the hotter months.”
Sprinklers and soakers at Frisella Nursery are working overtime to keep its 30 acres of foliage hydrated despite little rain in the forecast. Pop-up storms, often heavy downpours, are not as helpful in alleviating the drought conditions as you might think, Frisella said.
“Those downpours are just like putting a hose on concrete, it washes right away because the ground is so hard it can’t absorb the water,” he said.
Instead, long, soaking rain is needed to penetrate the ground and reach roots several inches below the surface.
“It’s been brutal the last four or five weeks,” said Tom Shaw Jr., who spent Monday shopping for flowers at Frisella’s. “I’ve spent a lot of time keeping the flowers watered but right now the key is getting a lot of compost, a lot of mulch.”
To keep trees watered, Frisella recommends resting a hose on the ground near the roots and letting water trickle from the hose for several hours. When it comes to plants and flowers, he recommends taking a look at the soil around the bulbs.
“You cannot overwater your plants in any single watering,” he said. “It’s the frequency of watering where people get in trouble.”
Frisella Nursery offers tips for helping your plants withstand drought conditions on its Youtube channel and Facebook page.
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