Lack of rain can threaten Mississippi lawns

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - "This property is only a year old," said Jackson homeowner, Don Kappus.

After he retired, Kappus and his wife built the home of their dreams, and invested in landscaping that would last.

"I think once you get it to this established point, then I think it's just a case of maintaining the care," said Kappus.

Also in his retirement, Kappus has carried out plans to turn over yard responsibilities to professionals, like Nicole Bunch at Green Oak Garden Center. She said this summer has been a challenge.

"There is a permanent wilt point that plants will get to," said Bunch. "And they won't come back, no matter how much water you throw on a plant."

If you maintain your landscape yourself, Bunch said do not give up, even if you think your yard is dead as a hammer.

"Your trees and your native things, things that have already been there and established for years," she said, are likely to survive most summer conditions.

If you think neglect has simply caused your yard to go dormant for the summer, that is incorrect.  Bunch said dormancy is for winter only.

"Once it dies and looks like that, it's going to take time," she said. "Try to water it. It could still have roots that are alive."

Homeowners can kill perennial shrubs but Bunch said it takes a lot of effort. On the other hand, newly planted shrubs are at a high risk of dying.

"An azalea that has been there five or 10 years is going to be more drought-tolerant because it is used to that type of situation, versus a newly planted plant," she said.

Bunch's answer for nurturing everything green, and once green in the yard, is water.

"If you are on a water limit and don't want to run your bill up, you need to choose what's important to you," said Bunch.

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