Dry spell affecting lawns, trees, plants and landscaping businesses

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — At Elbers Landscape Service in Buffalo, maintaining plants in the Garden Center has been a challenge.

“Any installs that we put in in the spring it’s young plants so the roots are not established so it’s going to take more effort to water and to fertilize to make sure that the plants survive this type of drought,” said Jim Hornung, Elbers Landscape owner.

Between extra labor and higher water bills this business is one of several that has seen extra costs due to the drought. Owner Jim Hornung says he’s held off on some big projects because of it, waiting and hoping for some moisture come fall.

“If you’re moving a lot, thousands of yards of soil or even 50 yards of soil in your yard it’s very difficult to move that because it’s dust it just doesn’t hold together,” said Hornung.

Hornung also says both young and old trees are having a tough time. He recommends either putting a hose at the base of your tree and letting water trickle for 3 to 4 hours, or filling a tree bag twice a week so the soil can get saturated.

“If you don’t help it out now this fall you’re going to see damage next spring because they’re going to go in dry. Particularly an Evergreen, Blue spruce, and Aborvitae something that has very high root system,” said Hornung.

Hornung says a lot of grass is in a dormant stage but expects conditions to improve by mid August. In a couple weeks he says if you over seed it, fertilize it and water it 3 inches a week your lawn should be looking better by fall.
And though not all plants will survive the drought, Hornung says there is still hope to keep some alive.

“If you can mulch the top of your plants and get moisture down below that mulch will keep the sun from scorching that soil,” said Hornung.

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