Keeping the Great State of Texas Beautiful

Surviving the driest year in 100 years

Sep 15, 2011, 13:15 ET from The Scotts Company

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lone Star State continues to suffer record high temperatures and the driest weather conditions in a century this summer – all deep in the heart of Texas.

Although most Texans are uniquely adapted to tough conditions, their gardens and lawns are struggling to thrive. With these circumstances plaguing the area throughout summer, plants and grasses across the state have gone from vibrant green to withered and brown. However, there is still hope for keeping Texas beautiful this fall.

Water is a precious resource, so conservation and wise use is essential—especially during community-enforced watering restrictions and drought-like conditions. That is why the scientists at Scotts have been researching ways to use less water to achieve great results in the grass and garden. Great products and invaluable tips on water conservation and surviving drought conditions have come from this research.

With very little rainfall in the forecast and limited watering possibilities, gardeners can use some age-old practices mixed with some modern-day technology to keep gardens lively and productive this growing season: 

Water Wisely: Follow area watering restrictions and water only after planting and when needed (before leaves wilt). If you don't already have one, consider installing a drip irrigation system to keep plants from drying out. When watering is necessary, do so in the morning between 6:00 to 10:00 am. When watering, also remember to water deeply making sure the soil is moist by inserting a finger a few inches into the soil. Listen for the weekly weather forecast - there is no need to water if rain happens to be on the way.

Build Great Soil: Amend soil before starting the fall garden or replanting trees and shrubs lost to the drought to improve moisture control and planting success. Mixing in a layer of rich compost from Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Garden Soil increases the water holding ability of soil and the food plants need.

Outdoor Potted Plants:  Reduce watering chores by choosing light-colored, non-porous containers such as plastic or glazed pottery. Protect pots from full sun and wind. Use Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix to help containers retain moisture. Large pots helps keep plants from becoming root-bound quickly and thirsting for water.

Mulch Everything: Whether your garden is in the ground or in containers, apply a two to three inch layer of Nature Scapes Advance mulch around all plants - vegetables, shrubs, perennials, flowers. This holds more moisture in the soil longer for your plants, keeps water-stealing weeds away, and helps soil absorb water better.

Timely & Gentle Feeding: In most water-restricted areas, watering is still feasible. Make the most of that water by attaching a Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed to the end of your hose and combine watering with gentle feeding for the entire garden and containers.  It is the convenient way to nourish all plants with both water and other nutrients plants need during dry conditions. Miracle-Gro Shake 'n Feed plus Moisture Control helps save water by allowing moisture to penetrate the soil, reducing run-off while feeding continuously for up to three months.

Weed Control:  Don't let the weeds get all the water. Target weeds in garden & landscape beds with Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Sure Shot foam. It is easy to use, lightweight and easy to carry around for spot treating.

Grass Tips: Most grass will naturally go dormant during drought conditions, but most can still recover once the cooler weather of fall offers relief. Remember to mow higher than usual to allow roots to grow deeper and leave clippings on the grass after mowing to act as natural mulch. Also, if watering is allowed in your area, water grass only in the early morning hours and feed it with a lawn food like Scotts Turfbuilder Winterguard to help replenish those lost nutrients and make the most of your watering. If you are not watering, do not feed the lawn at this time. Once drought restrictions are lifted or rain begins to fall again, you may proceed with an application of lawn food. Wait for better conditions to plant new grass. When that time comes, reseed or resod using a more drought-tolerant grass variety, such as Scotts Turf Builder EZ Bermudagrass or Scotts Turfbuilder Heat Tolerant Blue Mix.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro

With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.

SOURCE The Scotts Company