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Rain a welcome relief for many

By Bonney Bowman Photojournalist: Jared Mazurek - 8:11 PM May 27, 2014

Tuesday’s rain was great news for allergy and asthma sufferers.

The showers knocked pollen, dust and smoke out of the air, making it easier to breathe. It’s also good news for people who make their living in the great outdoors.

Lawn care crews are some of those people. Their season is off to a slow start.

Crews from Alaska Premier Services say they’ve kept busy cleaning up the debris left behind by winter, but haven’t got much of a start on spring projects like seeding lawns.

“It’s growing, just slower but there’s always something we can work on, just postpone the ones that we can’t and get to them when we can,” said Mike Anderson, the owner of Alaska Premier Services.

That’s why this rain is extra welcome, and not just because it means outdoor workers can breathe a little easier.

“Means less dust in the eyes and the nose and it’s easier to work in. Also everything is going to start greening up which will be really nice and all the flowers around Anchorage will need a lot less maintenance and watering,” Anderson said.

KTVA meteorologist Brett Shepard says it’s unusual to wait so long for rain.

“April was actually the seventh driest April we’ve had on record. In May, this is the first time we’ve seen any measurable rain in 21 days. So quite a dry spell we’ve had — three weeks without rain,” Shepard said.

Despite the dry spell, the Anchorage area isn’t that far behind in precipitation. So far this year, we’ve had 2.9 inches of rain. We should be at 3.1 inches.

But the ground is still drying out.

“Normally right after the snow melts, you don’t have to water quite this much right off the bat. But that’s kind of the case this year with how dry it’s been the last month and a half,” Shepard said.

If you notice your grass drying out, the lawn care experts say a deep watering is the best way to revive it.

“Shallow waterings really aren’t good for the root system and the grass. It causes the root to stay near the top level of the lawn and during droughts, it’s harmful to the grass. So if they water deeply, the roots will grow deeper and it helps resist drought,” Anderson said.

Shepard says it is a little worrisome we had a dry spell this early in the season, but since we have around a week of wet weather forecast, we should be OK.

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