By Pilar Pedraza
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
9:09 PM CDT, August 26, 2012
“By this fall, we've had this drought now two years. You're not going to recoup it in one or two good rains,” said Ned Bergkamp, who farms near Garden Plain.
Cautious optimism is the attitude of many Kansas farmers after this weekend's heavy rains. Whether you've been fighting to grow a crop, plant one or just keep your lawn alive the rains were welcome. But, we can't stop now.
“It was a help,” said Bergkamp. But was it too little, too late? The two or so inches that fell on Bergkamp's fields might be enough to help out his summer double bean crop.
“It depends on if we get some more rain a couple weeks from now,” Bergkamp said.
But the real benefit comes when he thinks about his winter wheat which is not yet in the ground.
“We can finally start preparing the ground for planting,” Bergkamp said. “Before, you start thinking, ‘Dang, I'm going to have to dust this wheat in,’ and, ah... which is, you know, really puts you out on a limb. But you keep that in mind, there's always that possibility. And this here starts giving you hopes that you won't have to go down that road.”
Dusting means to literally drop the seed on the surface of the ground and hope for the best.
“You know, when you get your back up against the wall you're limited in what you can do. You just have to go ahead and do it,” said Bergkamp.
For those of us who aren't farmers, there is still the front lawn to consider. That’s a big deal if you're trying to keep your grass green.
“It only changes temporarily,” said Daniel Wright. “It's a nice little bit of things to come, but we need to continue to water our lawns.”
At Johnson's Garden Center they say rainwater is best for your lawn.
“It's so much better than city water. It is neutral. It doesn't have some of the hard elements to it. It's just fantastic,” said Wright.
But when it's not an option, as it hasn't been often this summer, how you water your lawn can be more important than if you water it.
“Water less often, but water deeply when we water,” advised Wright.
They say to make sure the lawn gets at least an inch of water per watering, two to three times a week. This encourages the roots to grow deep and helps them withstand the hot, dry Kansas summers.
So, what about the rain we just had? It'll give your lawn a boost for about week.
Lawn experts also say, as we enter September it's a good time to start thinking about fertilizing your lawn and seeding in those areas that got burned out by the scorching summer sun.
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