Drought making for thirsty lawns across Minn.

11:49 PM, Oct 12, 2012   |    comments
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RICHFIELD, Minn. -- Diane and Bryan Kirchmann call their little backyard in Richfield a postage stamp.

But this year, it's nothing to write home about.

"We had a dry spot where it catches the sun, and we were just never able to get ahead of that," Bryan said. "It looked sort of dry all year."

It doesn't just look dry, it is dry, so much that nearly half of Minnesota is now in a severe or extreme drought. The drought monitor released Friday by the Department of Natural Resources shows the entire state is now in at least a moderate drought, with the past month the second driest September on record.

"The last couple months everywhere have been dry," said Mike Griesinger, a meteorologist the National Weather Service.

That's left yards parched and homeowners puzzled, wondering whether to water--and when. The Kirchmanns give their yard at least an inch a week, a plan experts say we should all keep following.

"(You should) certainly continue to water throughout the fall until the frost, and until the ground freezes," said Eric Barrett, owner of Barrett Lawn Care.

And that's not all you should do. Just as important is preparing your grass for what's sure to be a colder winter than last year.

"Don't try to do a liquid fertilizer on it," Barrett said. "It needs to be a granular fertilizer, which can just more or less wait until the moisture comes."

Which is, of course, what we all want to know: when will it finally come?

"If you're in the southeast part of the state, there should be a good rain out of it this weekend," Griesinger said. "But outside of that, it's looking pretty much like a strikeout."

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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