Saving Green: Keeping Lawns Alive In The Drought - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/15/06-Tyler

Saving Green: Keeping Lawns Alive In The Drought

"We're keeping the grass higher because it holds the moisture," says Sharon Russell, whose been keeping a close eye on the health of her lawn.

She and her husband feel they have a very healthy lawn, but despite sometimes standing water, there were some brown spots.   It just took some detective work to find the culprit. Looking around, they found everyone else in the neighborhood was watering, too.

"[The] water pressure went down, so it was not sprinkling as heavy and there were some areas of the yard that were not getting enough water," Sharon says.

Wind and pressure can play havoc with your plans.

"In a lot of cases, people don't water long enough. So they may only water the top surface about one or two inches and it dries out. It will need to practically be watered every day," says Envirocare's Jay Schulz.  He says watering 20 to 25 minutes every other day is ideal with a bit longer required if you have a rotary sprinkler you move around your lawn.

Do feed the grass

"You want to get a fertilizer that is very slow release, and slow release will last for approximately 60 days," says Schulz.

Around his own lawn, grass is cut away from sprinkler heads.  Blocked heads is a common reason parts of lawns begin to wither.

"The heads may be parked too low and partially blocked, and then you may have areas of your lawn that are not getting any water," he says. 

The Russell's are praying for rain.  However, until the skies open up, there's more thirst than ever.

If you notice brown spots on your lawn and you're sure water has been getting there, it could be chinch bugs.  Envirocare's Schulz says they're common this time of year and typically begin infesting areas near the street. If you think that's the problem, a lawn care expert can help get rid of them.

Reported by Morgan Palmer, morganpalmer@kltv.com

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