Christina's Corner - Rainy Repercussions
Newsletter #6 – July/August 2019
Now that Summer is officially here, let us all give thanks for the fact that we have barely had to water a thing this year! The rain has begun to show signs of drying up, but we have had much more than usual so far. Normally, I spend several hours hand-watering my beds and borders every week, but I have only had to water my more recent plantings and my tomatoes this year. Thank you, Mother Nature!
Now, having shown appreciation for the bounty, I want to bring up a not-so-great result of all the rainfall – plants that cannot handle wet soil, plants that are unable to absorb nutrients in a water-logged soil, and plants that do not settle in or establish new roots in a saturated soil. All plants have their own preferred set of conditions that must be met in order for it to thrive. Some are simply not equipped to deal with a constantly wet soil, while others really love this situation and will grow like gangbusters.
One thing for sure, though, is that once the rain stops, these plants are spoiled! They have not had to endure the stress that usually accompanies our Summers, i.e., hot, humid weather with dry soil, or soil that dries out quickly between waterings. Our landscapes have not been thirsty this year, and when they realize the gig is up on regular rainfall, they may begin showing signs of stress. Also, when rainfall amounts are high, our plants tend to put on more growth than their root systems can support. Do not be alarmed if you notice plants dropping leaves out-of-season – this is possibly due to the abundance of growth they experienced during our wet Spring.
Certainly, if you see any problems with your plants that concern you, seek the advice of experts for diagnosis of the problem. Here at River Valley, we have numerous staff members who can help pin down the issue and the proper steps to take to bring the plants back to a healthy condition, if possible. And remember that fertilizing when you see a problem is not a good idea. This can make the issue worse and cause more stress to the plant, because frequently insect damage or disease can resemble a poorly-nourished plant. Try to discover the reason behind the damage before taking any action.
We see plants every week that have been affected by disease, insects, mechanical or chemical damage, improper planting or mulching, or watering issues (not enough, too much). Always, we would like to see as much of the plant as possible, as well as surrounding conditions, as this information helps us to come to a consensus on treatment or replacement advice. Bringing in a leaf is usually not very helpful, unless that leaf actually holds the offending insect that we can see.
Again, we at River Valley LOVE what we do, and if there is some way we can help you become a better gardener or landscaper, come see us. We take this joyous, creative, imaginative, expressive, generous landscape thing very seriously!
See you soon at River Valley! -- Christina Cole