With the sun shining and the days getting longer, it’s the time of year when homeowners across the country start to plan, prep, and plant in the yard. But while many parts of the country experienced increased precipitation this year, concerns over water consumption and drought remain, and drought conditions are predicted to return and intensify in many areas.
Recently, Experts from ScottsMiracle-Gro participated in a nationwide satellite media tour to discuss tips to help your lawn and garden withstand drought conditions this summer.
A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/aWNaWJe73co
Water conservation and drought are top of mind for homeowners, but many don’t know how to keep their lawns thick and green while reducing water usage. Here are some quick tips to help:
First, focus on having a well-fed lawn because feeding not only improves a lawn's appearance, it also helps the lawn protect itself against drought. A well-fed lawn grows deeper roots to better absorb water and nutrients. Regular feedings of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food can provide the nutrients your lawn needs to look its best and withstand the stresses of heat as well as periods of drought and dormancy.
Second, be sure to get the lawn height just right. Grass mowed at the proper height develops a deeper root system to better find water and nutrients in the soil. As the season gets warmer, let your grass grow taller than you might typically would.
Finally, rely on rainfall as much as you possibly can. If you choose to water, wait until it’s absolutely necessary to do so, typically when the lawn is turning brown. If you’re a person who doesn’t need to water your lawn, it’s okay to let your lawn go brown and dormant for a short period of time this summer. If you fertilize regularly, your lawn should bounce right back.
When it comes to gardening, it’s all about making every drop count.
To maintain a healthier, more drought-resistant garden, start with good soil. Mixing nutrient-rich organic matter, like compost or Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Garden Soil, into your existing soil not only makes it easier for your plants to grow, but it also improves the soil structure. Good soil structure means better nutrient and water holding – water is able to penetrate into the soil, instead of running off, and is held where the plants can use it.
Then add mulch. Mulch not only makes your garden beds look nice and finished, but it also keeps weed seeds from sprouting which would otherwise compete with your plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Mulch helps keep moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation and also moderates soil temperature by shading the soil.
Lastly, water smart. When you do water, water deeply, directing the water at the base of the plant. Deep watering promotes deeper roots which better withstand drought. Water in the morning or early evening, avoiding mid-day, which helps reduce water loss from evaporation. And, if possible, use drip irrigation or soaker hoses in your garden beds instead of overhead sprinklers or a hose and breaker.
Also remember to properly feed plants leading up to hot, dry weather conditions because healthy, nourished plants can better withstand prolonged periods of heat and drought. When you connect Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics Garden Feeder to your garden hose, you can feed and water at the same time.
For more information, visit scottsmiraclegro.com
About Amy Enfield
Amy has over 25 years of experience in the Lawn & Garden industry and has been with ScottsMiracle-Gro for 11 years. She has a BS and MS in Horticulture from Michigan State University and a PhD in Plant & Environmental Sciences from Clemson University. She specializes in house plant and succulent research with focus areas in consumer performance, lighting, and ecommerce shippability.
About Matthew Koch
Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Matthew Koch joined ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2012 after finishing his PhD work in plant genetics and breeding at Rutgers University. He began as a Scientist in the Biotechnology program and has held a number of leadership roles since. He is currently the Director of Biotechnology, Genetics, Lawn Nutrition and Seed where he oversees the R&D activities of these teams. When not helping develop the next generation of plant genetics and consumer lawn products, Matt loves the outdoors (especially his home lawn), traveling, and considers himself a BBQ foodie at heart.
Jordan Houser is a Brand Manager for the Scotts-Miracle Gro Company. After receiving his MBA from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, Jordan joined SMG in 2018 and has spent his time with the company focused on its operations in the Lawns category under the industry-leading Scotts brand. In addition to his role in managing the brand’s operations in the grass seed, fertilizer, and lawn weed control product categories, Jordan also currently leads the organization’s initiatives in alternative landscapes and next-generation lawns.