Kansas City is still in the midst of a heat wave accompanied by drought conditions. If you’re a homeowner with any sort of a lawn or garden you’re probably way beyond keeping it lush and green and are now locked in a battle just to keep it alive. There a few things you can do to improve the sad, brown area you used to call your yard.
If you’re spending lots of time (and money) trying to keep your outdoor space from crisping completely you might consider they types of plantings and grasses you have. There are many low-water choices for your yard that will perform better than the ones currently gasping in your front yard.
We’ve discussed native plants before and how they’re a good choice for our weather conditions in northwest Missouri. Native plants can establish strong, deep root systems that allow it to endure our baking summers and frozen winters. They may take a bit more water at first until they’re established but once acclimated they’ll perform year in and year out. Visit the Missouri Prairie Foundation for a list of plants.
Another garden savior is mulch. We all buy mulch to give a nice finishing touch to our garden beds but not only does it reduce weeds that compete for water, mulch will also help retain moisture and keep the soil cooler. This will also mean less watering time and energy. Concrete curbing will keep that mulch in place and keep the water where you need it.
Good soil preparation is also good for water conservation. Proper soil nutrients mean your garden won’t have to work as hard and use more water just to simply live. Your plants will also be less leggy as they won’t have struggle for nutrients. Your local extension office will usually offer soil testing for a small fee (or even free) so you can see just what your dirt is made of.
Choosing the proper grass for your yard can determine its water usage. The University ofMissouri Extension lists the turf grasses most resistant to leaf wilting and browning in hot, dry periods as buffalo grass, bermuda, zoysia, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. And while a big lawn might be visually desirable the effort to maintain it with proper water and nutrients can be a long and ongoing struggle. This is another way native plants can step in and help. You can reduce the amount of turf in your yard while also reducing water usage.
Planning your lawn and garden with an eye toward conservation doesn’t mean only using natives plants and grasses. But with judicial use of them you can reduce the amount of resources needed to keep your yard looking good in bad times. The benefit may also mean that you can plant the more high maintenance varieties in pots or in a smaller outdoor living space to keep the color and lushness that you really want without excess watering.
If you’d like a professional opinion on how you can keep your yard and garden looking good in most any weather call us at Olympic Lawn and Landscape. Our professional landscapers will visit your home, look at your yard, listen to your needs (and your wants) and recommend a solution. We can also show you how using curbing in your garden area, driveway or pool to add that extra touch of wow to your home.