(WICHITA, Kan.) — Triple digit temperatures are taking a toll. Look around your neighborhood and you'll see dead looking grass, trees and shrubs. You may be wondering, do I let them go or try and save them? A local expert says a little water will go a long way.
Alicia Martin spent Tuesday morning pulling weeds at her Bel Aire home. Weeds are one of the only things thriving in this heat. "I don't usually let it get this bad, but I was out of town last week," she said. So on top of the weed pulling she also spent time checking on the yard. "It's looking a little brown. Our tree is not looking so great right now. It's not surprising given these temperatures" she said.
She's not alone, most yards are suffering right now. "It's most likely a combination of root stress from all of the rain we had earlier in the summer now combined with the excessive heat," said Sedgwick County extension agent Rebecca McMahon. She says when it's this hot, forget a luscious green lawn. "We're kind of in survival mode." She says if your grass looks dry and brown, don't give up just yet. She says a little bit of water should keep the roots alive. She says when it finally cools off, that little water will hopefully help the grass come back.
Many trees are hurting too, suffering from leaf scorch or losing their leaves all together. "The plant could be dead or it could be protecting itself, by trying to save as much energy as possible," she said. McMahon says younger trees need the top eight inches of soil moist to stay alive. She says if it's brand new, the tree or shrub needs 10-20 gallons per week.
"We'll have to increase how much water we're putting on it in the evenings and morning, hopefully it will make it," said Martin about her dying tree. She says a little extra TLC is worth saving what they've already invested in their yard.