CHASKA, minor — Russ Simatic takes pride in maintaining his lawn, but in the middle of oneand a this year it is a bit more difficult.
“It’s kind of our baby. It’s a labor of love,” Simatic said. “It’s a lot of work and it’s a nice warm day. We’re working up a sweat!”
It may go against instinct, but experts say getting up early and slacking off while mowing can help.
“The most important thing is to make sure you water at the most appropriate time of day,” said Jon Trappe, Turf Grass Extension lecturer at the University of Minnesota.
According to Trappe, that is between 6 and 10 a.m
“A higher cut grass is more drought tolerant. A higher height of cut will be a healthy greener lawn,” said Trappe. “A taller cut grass, even if it’s not mowed and it grows to five to six inches, is better off than a grass that’s cut right before it experiences really high temperatures.”
Trappe says avoiding fertilizer and limiting foot traffic can reduce stress before the heat.
However, it can be challenging to keep things green.
“There’s a lot to be optimistic about. It doesn’t necessarily mean the grass is dead,” Trappe said. “Try to be patient and accept the reality we have.”
Trappe says that after three years of drought, homeowners may be surprised to find some grass unsalvageable.
Friday afternoon, the Minnesota DNR reported that the St. Croix watershed is in the drought warning phase. It means communities that depend on the river could soon face water restrictions. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul are also considering water restrictions.
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