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Dying Elijah Blue Fescue

In March we planted Elijah Blue Fescue along the border of a bed in front of our church along with double red knock-out roses, Stella D'Oro day lilies, Bird's Nest Spruce, Dwarf Norway Spruce (Little Gem), and Midget Arborvitae.

Question:

In March we planted Elijah Blue Fescue along the border of a bed in front of our church along with double red knock-out roses, Stella D’Oro day lilies, Bird’s Nest Spruce, Dwarf Norway Spruce (Little Gem), and Midget Arborvitae. Someone set the automatic watering schedule for 5 minutes, 4 times a day because we were experiencing mild drought and heat. Most of the plants have done well but the Elijah grass and a couple of the Norway spruce are turning brown. I assume this is over watering in the case of the grass, but not sure about the Spruce since not all of them are turning brown. The watering schedule has been amended to 7 minutes every other day. We plan on just replacing the Spruce, but is it likely that the grass will recover? Any advice concerning any of these plants would be helpful.

—B. Evans

Answer:

Hi B.,

Seldom do grasses die from over watering.  In fact we have a rule here to water our grasses two to three times a day to keep them going in their nursery containers.  Same goes for the spruce, more water.  5 minutes of water four times a day doesn’t seem like enough.  Plants would benefit from one soaking from supplemental irrigation that lasted a full hour (at least!!).  And the best time to water is in the morning, leaving the remainder of the day to let the foliage of the plants dry. The grasses could come back, but may not look great for the remainder of this season.  Good luck!

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