Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Scorchers Complicate Absorption of Water

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Scorchers Complicate Absorption of Water

Article excerpt

Byline: Becky Wern

I have yellowing and browning through my lawn that has just showed up within the past couple of weeks. It's not one spot; it's really just blades here and there. Should I be worried about this?

This has been a challenging summer for our lawns. The heat has been truly scorching. In the past couple of weeks, we have had some heat and wind. Both remove moisture from the leaf blade - and of course, we have had almost no rainfall to replace the moisture for the plant.

Of course, you are probably watering. But so are all your neighbors, including those of us who really try not to water. With all of us drawing on the water supply, you might be really surprised to find it takes a lot longer to get the recommended 3/4 inch of water that should be applied weekly.

If you have been watering regularly and are still seeing signs of water stress, put some straight-sided cans or other containers out while you are watering. Water that zone for the usual amount of time and then measure the amount of water that actually was applied to the lawn. You will also find that watering at different times produces radically different amounts of water within the same length of time.

Stay aware of the variation in water flow so you can help your plants thrive.

My black-eyed Susans are past their prime. Can I cut them back?

We get a variety of Rudbeckias in North Florida. Some are annual, some are perennial, or at least last for a couple of years.

You can always prune off spent flowers. Some people like to remove them for aesthetic reasons, but unless you plant to use to the seeds, there is no botanical reason to allow the plant to put energy into making seeds.

However, you might like the appearance of the seed heads forming. And if your variety is the annual Rudbeckia - the most commonly available variety I see in nurseries - cutting off the seed heads will just speed up the plant's collapse and death. …

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