Friday, September 7, 2012
This summer's drought took a heavy toll on Kansas lawns.
Now, there's a rush to seed as the weather cools down and moisture begins to return to the forecast. Lawn experts say now is the time to undo the drought's damage.
Friday's cool, rainy weather arrived too late to come to the rescue of most lawns this season, but it could lead to lush, green lawns next year.
"We've seen an increase in people over the past several weeks as we've had some rains and things like that," said Jeremy Johnson of Johnson's Garden Centers in Wichita. He said the increase in business comes at a critical time for lawns.
"The fall is the best time to plant grass and, with the summer's drought, it has put extra stress on lawns.
Lawns of fescue have suffered the most.
"It's a cool season grass, so it really struggles through an average Kansas summer," Johnson said. "Add some drought to it and it makes it even harder."
Some people feel lucky to still have a green lawn after this summer.
"We do have a well system, so we can water twice a day about 15 minutes," said west Wichita resident Darlene Brazill. "My husband takes care of the lawn and he does a good job."
Brazill said she is glad she did not have to pay to use city water for those twice-daily waterings.
"Well, I wouldn't have wanted to, probably," she said. "But when it got looking bad, we probably would have."
The rush to reseed has also increased business for equipment rental companies. They are busiest on weekends, when people have time to labor in their lawns.
Johnson said the next few weekends will be the best time to do that.
"We've got good soil warmth, which is going to help the grass come up more quickly," he said. "So, the soonest we can do it, the better."
He said, even those who do not have to reseed, may still need to give their lawns a little extra care heading into the fall.
"Water is going to be important, so these rains are really helping to add some subsoil moisture," he said. "A light fertilizing right now can help them rebound."