Residents concerned about lawns and plants
Drought conditions now cover one-third of the lower 48 states. The drought has reached its largest extent since 2014, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.
The average temperature across the U.S. in January was 32.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.1 Celsius). Cold snaps in the central U.S. and East brought more than 4,000 new daily cold temperature records, according to a statement online. Warmer readings in the western U.S. offset the chill, as monthly temperatures in nine states ranked among the 10 warmest on record and 2,000 daily warm temperature records were logged.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at the end of last month the winter wheat was struggling across the Great Plains and only 14 percent of Kansas wheat was rated in good or excellent condition, the lowest since 2006.
Residents have good reason to be concerned about their lawns and trees.
“Looks like this Wednesday and Thursday may be good days to put some water down,” said Larry Crouse, Butler County Horticulture Agent with the K-State Extension office, “The temperature needs to be over 50 degrees.”
Crouse advised that all plants would benefit from some much needed moisture, but that now is a critical time for cool season lawns and any evergreen plant.
“Evergreens don’t go dormant in the winter and they are subjected to varying temperatures and winds. That wind can suck the life right out of them.”
For those who do drag out their garden hoses this week, Crouse reminds them to thoroughly drain the hoses when finished, eliminating the possibility of the hoses freezing when temperatures drop again.