Water Conservation Tip No. 13

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You can save water by cutting back on nitrogen during the hottest part of the summer. Nitrogen promotes vigorous new growth. While that kind of growth is good in the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler, it can put many of our plants at risk during the hottest parts of mid- and late summer. The new growth it stimulates will be soft and succulent. When that type of growth is hit full force by the sun and high temperatures the plant may wilt and scorch around the edges and tips of its leaves.

Of course, there are exceptions. Truly tropical plants such as hibiscus, mandevilla and even bermudagrass grow best in hot weather. They use up a lot of nitrogen and mid-summer replenishment is certainly merited.

St. Augustine, on the other hand, is hurt by high levels of nitrogen in the summer. A fungal disease called gray leaf spot attacks St. Augustine. It can become really serious if you have just fertilized your lawn. Click here to see photos and for control tips as well.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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