Dealing With Dry Conditions
Unfortunately, droughts are a common occurrence in Utah and throughout the West. These times of low moisture can wreak havoc on your livestock as well as your lawn and garden. However, there are things you can do to help mitigate the worst effects of a drought such as giving your livestock supplements and watering your plants more efficiently. Learn how you can keep your lawn, livestock, and garden in shape during the hot dry summer.
Most people water their lawns more than necessary, so this is the most obvious and easy way to start saving water. Start by cutting your watering's and monitor how the lawn responds. Grass can survive on as little as one inch of water per month. It may turn brown but the lawn can recover when the drought eases and you can water more. Some people even resort to using lawn paint to keep it green even if the lawn turns brown.
Other ways you can keep your lawn healthy during hot and dry seasons is by applying the right fertilizers and adjuvants to help your lawn get the most out of the water it gets. We recommend a fertilizer with a blend of nutrients to keep your lawn resilient to a stressful environment. For example, our custom 24-3-6 fertilizer blend is 50% slow release, and contains extra sulfur, magnesium, and iron. The combination of all those characteristics improves the vigor of the lawn, which in turn lessens the need for excessive watering. Revive granules, Hydretain, and granular humates are also great products that helps water penetrate deeper into the soil which allows the soil to store more moisture.
Growing crops and gardens can be especially tricky during a drought. Your plants will always need water to grow and you can't always cut down like you can with your lawn. Use a fertilizer with high phosphorous so your plants can build strong roots which will make them more drought tolerant. A good soaker hose will help the water can get to the plant's roots so that you don't waste any water. Weeds will fight your plants for water, so use a good herbicide to keep weeds out of your garden. Keep pests away from your crops and animals with a good insect control. The healthier you can keep your plants overall, the less water they will need to thrive.
Caring For Livestock
Cattle, horses and other animals are not immune to drought conditions. Hot, dry weather can prevent your livestock from gaining as much weight and possibly prevent them from breeding. The lack of rain also means grasses in pastures won't grow as much or have as many nutrients.
To help your livestock get the nutrients they need you will want to give them mineral supplements. Giving your livestock salt blocks and loose minerals will also encourage them to increase water consumption to stay hydrated. We recommend the Vitalix #4 tub for cattle, the Equilix horse tub for horses, and the Vitalix #60 tub for sheep. You also want to make sure you give your livestock all their vaccines, since they may be more susceptible to diseases and respiratory issues from dust and high heat.
Coping with a drought can be a challenge, but Steve Regan is here to help you navigate through the drought. We have been growing together with our customers since 1936, and we know the best ways to handle dry conditions. If you have questions about how to deal with the drought, give us a call at 801-268-4500 and one of our specialists can help you out!