Plants Are Feeling The Heat - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Plants Are Feeling The Heat

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Claire Powell

Grass, flowers and even trees are suffering in the extreme heat this week.

The difference between which lawns are being irrigated, and which aren't, is very visible.

"People that have irrigation systems have a big advantage, those are the yards right now that look green and happy and healthy," said Bobby Dunn, Production Manager with A+ Lawn Care.

"It takes about one inch of water per week to maintain a good yard, so you're better off if you want to take a small area. A lot of people just water their front yards and they just keep that looking nice," said Jerry Holub, a manager at Earl May. 

The trees around the metro are in the same condition, with leaves shriveling and piling on to the ground.

Customers have been calling plant specialists, like Earl May, forty or fifty times a day, asking for advice on how to revive their plants.

"Any tree that has been planted in the last two years is in danger of dying if you don't give it enough water because it hasn't had a chance to develop a tap root and get a root down deep," said Holub.

Lawn care companies say lawns may be only be dormant now but that could change.

"Unless they have an irrigation system, their lawn is crunchy, brown and crispy like we all see and that's okay because dormant is normal, but what we run into is if it stays dormant for longer than 30 days which we're getting into at this point, it's going to have trouble recovering," said Dunn.

It's not too late to save your lawn. Gentle fertilizer and consistent watering can recover a lawn and if the temperatures begin to cool off, the grass and trees should be just fine.

"Looks like the temperatures next week are a little better, we're back into the 80's and if we get some rain on top of that, we'll be in good shape," said Dunn.

Lawn care specialist also suggest watering lawns early in the morning. Irrigating during the afternoon, 50-80% of water can be lost due to the high temperatures.


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