Tuesday rain breaks dry spell in Cape area

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

After more than 10 days without a drop of rain, local lawns received a decent drink on Tuesday. Downtown Cape Girardeau received 0.45 inches, and Jackson received 0.40 inches.

And with spotty showers in the forecast for the rest of the week, grass will be transformed from brown to green, and plants besides the already blooming Japanese maples and cherry trees should soon follow suit with blooms of their own.

Just within the last week, many trees have begun to bud at Cape Girardeau County Park and steady rain will ensure their development, said parks superintendent Bruce Watkins.

"This will green the parks up and make things look a lot fresher," Watkins said of Tuesday's rain. "This is probably the first storm we've had since we fertilized."

The parks were fertilized three weeks ago, but Watkins said the lack of rain has not been a serious issue. Temperatures have remained cool, so dehydration has not been a problem.

Droughts in previous years threatened residential dogwood trees, but Marvin Worthington, owner of The Garden's Edge of Jackson, said there has been no danger for his clients so far.

According to the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., temperatures at the end of the week should reach mid-60s, but thunderstorms are expected to accompany the warm temperatures.

The only threat to some plants is the weather's tendency to change rapidly from cold to warm and from dry to wet, said Shellia Perry, gardener at Travelers Gazebo Gardens in Cape Girardeau.

"The weather keeps changing, so right now everything is confused," Perry said.

cpierce@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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