Take a green approach to cope with drought

GAINESVILLE – As drought conditions continue, some Florida yards and gardens may start to look less than lush.
“In general, lack of water will cause fruit and flowers to fall off the plant, reducing yields.” However, homeowners and gardeners can take several steps to lessen the effects of drought on their landscapes.
“During dry conditions, leaves of grass will fold up lengthwise and turn gray-blue,” DeBusk said.
In woody ornamentals, the leaves will turn black at the tips.” 2.
Irrigate with an eye toward conservation.
“If a plant is showing signs of water stress, water it deeply every few days, or more if needed, though be sure to follow your local community’s water usage guidelines and irrigation restrictions,” said DeBusk.
Many communities only allow homeowners to irrigate during morning or evening.
“This allows the water to get to the roots before it is evaporated by the sun,” she explained.
To conserve water, mulch should be two to three inches deep.
Homeowners should also skip fertilizing or pruning live branches during drought conditions, DeBusk said.

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