By Leann Sato, Nebraska Extension Master Gardener
Lawn Down and Brown?
That’s okay, let it rest. Grass protects itself from scorching heat by going dormant. Let it rest during summer’s heat and revive when Fall’s cooler temperatures arrive. A half inch of water about every two to three weeks will keep the crowns and roots healthy. Native, drought-resistant grass varieties, like buffalo and blue grama, will require less water during dormancy than cool season grasses. Save water and let the lawn rest until Fall.
Set Trees for Success
Trees are long-term investments in our landscapes providing shade, protection, and beauty. Help trees succeed. Plant the right tree in the right spot by considering the tree’s mature height, width and growth habits. Water tree root zones when soil is dry six inches deep. Promote good structural growth with proper pruning in late fall or early spring while dormant. Make the landscape rich with trees by proper placement, watering, and pruning.
Plant Green to Save Green
Protect your home and pocketbook by planting trees to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Evergreens planted on the northwest side of a home can help protect a house from winter winds and summer storms. Deciduous trees raised on the east, west, and southwest sides of a house can shade against summer’s heat and let warm sunlight in during winter. Spend less with proper tree placement for better energy use.
Use Less, Pay Less
Save money and water by using rainwater and gray water. Residents can capture and store runoff or route graywater for landscape irrigation, reducing both cost and demand for treated potable water. Rain barrels, cisterns, underground tanks, or graywater reuse systems capture, store and provide irrigation water eliminating the need to purchase water. Use less potable water and pay less with rain harvesting and graywater reuse.
Are You a Gracious Host?
Create a pollinator friendly space by including a wide variety of native flowering trees, shrubs and plants in the landscape. Include herbs like mint, parsley, sage, and hyssop; blooming vegetables like broccoli, mustard and kale; and even weedy flowers like dandelions and clover. Aim to have at least three plants blooming at a time from early spring to late fall. Offer water for a finishing touch. Be a gracious host with pollinator friendly landscapes.