Great Gardens Blog

Dealing with Drought

Minnesota’s Drought Warning

As Minnesota continues to experience drought conditions–with 75% of the state experiencing severe drought and 22 % of the state experiencing extreme drought*–our lawns, gardens, trees, and crops continue to suffer. Many communities, like nearby Hastings, have watering bans in the city limits during the daytime hours to help conserve their municiple water supplies. These water supplies are important because the city water used for watering lawns, gardens, and trees, is the same water used for drinking, cooking, and bathing! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to run out of that!

Minnesota has a Statewide Drought Plan that designates thresholds for drought intensity and the implementation of drought Watches and Warnings. With the conditions as they are in the state right now, we are currently in a Drought Warning Phase. While Goodhue County is only experiencing Moderate Drought as of today,

More information on the Minnesota Statewide Drought Plan here!

Keeping your yards and gardens healthy and well-watered!

If your municipality has a ban on watering, it’s for good reason! Not only does it keep us from using up all the city’s drinking water, but these 10 am-6 pm bans–as they are often framed–make sense. Those are the hottest hours of the day and the worst ones to water in. When you water your plants when it’s really hot, you lose almost half of the water to evaporation anyway. This means half that water you’re paying for, is going straight up into the sky…ugh. Expensive and inefficient!

  • Watering in the morning is really the best route for home landscapes and lawns. This gives the leaves and grass plenty of time to dry off in the sun during the day, which helps prevent fungus and diseases that can occur when there’s too much overnight moisture, AND it lessens the amount of evaporation you’re likely to suffer.

Check out this infographic from the US EPA’s WaterSense Program for some interesting little facts that help visualize water use in the summer time…

summer-infographic

  • Mulch your plants and trees. Mulch helps hold the moisture in the soil longer so the plants get a better opportunity to soak up the good stuff!
  • Water your lawns and trees less often, but for longer! Especially with trees, a good long soak encourages root growth and drought tolerance!
  • For more great watering tips, check out the University of Minnesota Extension’s Water Wisely Page!

*according to Drought in Minnesota | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us) July 30, 2021.

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