From The New Milford Spectrum
by Shayne Newman, Contributing Writer
This has not been a banner year for our lawns and gardens.
If you love gardening like me, or you simply love the result of someone else’s work in your garden — that would be my wife –then I can imagine you’re feeling a little let down.
Excessive heat and absence of rain forced me to choose which plants I was going to save and which plants I was to let go — it was Sophie’s Choice out there, figuratively speaking.
Resources like time and water were limited.
Annuals were especially challenging; they needed twice-daily watering during some stretches and investing in them seemed futile.
Watering the lawn was not always an option unless I wanted to go out into the world shower-less and without clean clothes.
By far, this was the hottest and driest summer in my 25 years in land care.
The warm weather forced early blooms, a trend that continued all season. I know this because I’ve maintained a “first blooms” journal for 13 years.
Plants started blooming a record three weeks early in April.
According to Branching Out, an Integrated Pest Management Newsletter for Trees and Shrubs and extension of Cornell University’s agricultural program, from March on through to July our region experienced above average temperatures but received half its normal rainfall.
Well, it’s a wrap: the season is over and many of us are left with brown patches in our lawns, brown-looking perennials and defoliated plants.
How do we determine which plants can be saved?