DROUGHT CONDITIONS: Tips for yard, tree care - FOX 35 News Orlando

DROUGHT CONDITIONS: Tips for yard, tree care

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APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

Many lawns in Minnesota are looking awfully brown and feel a bit crunchy. In some places, leaves are already starting to fall, and the lack of rain in the last couple of months is the likely culprit.

Much of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions, and in Apple Valley, it's hard to miss the brown, dry grass found on almost any street.

At the corner of Redwood and Lowell, Marlene Dahlgren said there's really nothing she can do about her lawn.

"I don't even own the things you would need to water the lawn," she admitted.

Lawn care experts say the up-side to brown and crunchy grass is that it doesn't need to be mowed. All that will do is make the grass blades shorter and stifle the root growth that helps a lawn become more drought-resilient.

Since brown and crunchy grass doesn't mean a lawn is dead, Dahlgren plans to let her yard remain dormant while she waits for rain, even if the neighbors start to see her yard as an eyesore.

"I feel sorry for them that they have to look at this," she conceded.

It takes between eight to 10 weeks of no water for grass to actually die, but some -- such as Kevin Spencer -- don't let a day go by without it.

"I water it twice a day -- in the morning and in the evening," he said. "I don't think everybody likes it as much as I do."

Rainfall has been scarce in the past few months, and it's hard to tell when -- or how often -- the rain will come again. That means arborist Al Olson has been busy.

"If you notice the leaves are starting to cup, what they are doing is actually protecting themselves," he explained.

Olson offers advice to homeowners about how mulch can actually help protect plants during dry spells.

"You're going to have a better water holding capability," he said.

When it comes to keeping grass and trees green and lush, Olson says a "soaker" hose watering once a week can help.

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