Tips to save your garden and your wallet during the drought

BAYSIDE — Despite the severe drought declaration in southeastern Wisconsin, garden center officials say business has not slowed down!

The drought has taken its toll on the Diderrich’s lawn in Bayside, and also, their garden!

“It’s the worst I have ever seen. The most work, the most sweat I have ever had to put in,” George Diderrich said.

George and his wife have laid down nearly 200 feet of hose to make the daily job of watering flowers, bushes and trees easier.

“Of course we have lost some over the years, but nothing like this year,” Judy Kelly said.

However, the extra water power hasn’t saved everything. Leaves are falling off trees and some plants are fried.  The only thing making the couple feel better is knowing they’re not alone.

“It has been incredibly difficult,” Bayside Garden Center employee Barbara Dallman said.

Dallman has some tips that can save your plants and your wallet.

“Skip the lawn.  Don’t waste your money.  Lawns can go 60 days without rain,” Dallman said.

That leaves more time and energy to hose off your plants and flowers.

“Water, water, water.  Keep watering. Don’t fertilize.  Plants are stressed out enough.  Root systems on new plants are shallow.  Its tempting to say I want it to look better, I’m going to put fertilizer on it.  Lay off for awhile,” Dallman said.

The biggest advice, be patient. 

“We will eventually get a reprieve, and we’ll get some cooler temperatures at night and things will all of a sudden go crazy and grow beautifully again,” Dallman said.

Dallman says if you are buying plants, native plants tend to do better in the heat.

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