The wet spring that we have experienced has created some unusual situations for homeowners. With the excess moisture, you can experience issues keeping your yard under control. Also, the saturated soils can cause problems with your plants root systems, making them not as drought tolerant going into the hot summer season. I found some more information form the Horticulture department for K-State Research and Extension with some tips on how to help your landscape recover from all of the rain.
Too wet to mow the lawn
What do you do when the lawn can’t be cut because of constant rain? The best thing to do is to set your mower as high as possible and bring it down in steps. It is always best never to take more than one third of the grass blade off at one time. If more is taken, the plant reacts by using stored energy reserves to quickly send up new growth. This reduces the amount of energy available for the plant to deal with stress or damage done by insects or disease. However, sometimes it is just not possible to keep the “one-third rule.” In such cases, cut as high as possible even though it may mean you are cutting off more than one third of the blade. Bring the height down gradually by cutting more often and at progressively lower heights until you reach the target height.
After effects of too much rain
Some areas of Kansas have had saturated or near-saturated soils for several weeks now. Gardeners are likely to assume that watering won’t be needed for quite some time now as soil moisture levels are very high. Actually, watering may be needed much sooner than you expect.
Excessive rain can drive oxygen out of the soil and literally drown roots. Therefore, as we enter hotter, drier weather, the plants with damaged root systems may be very susceptible to a lack of water. Don’t forget to check your plants for signs of wilting or leaf scorching and water as needed. If irrigation is called for, water deeply and infrequently. Usually once per week is sufficient depending on the weather. Soil should be moist but not waterlogged.
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-state Research and Extension. One can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 620-793-1910.