Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes
You see a bright shiny package at the garden center saying that it can help you have the most bountiful garden ever, the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, your plants will have miraculous growth, or it will supply every element on earth to make sure that your plants are living their best life. It’s got what plants crave….It’s got electrolytes! You reach out to grab that package and ……. Woah! Pump the brakes! Do you know if your plants even need to be fertilized? Are you just falling for that shiny marketing, or do your plants really need added fertility to grow?
The excess rain this year is a change from many years where we are already worried about drought stress on our landscapes. However, excess moisture is causing problems in our landscapes this year from fungal diseases as well as nutrient deficiencies.
Water is essential to life and has no substitute; hence, water-wise practices that conserve and protect water resources are something we all need to use.
During the growing season, it is estimated 40 percent or more of water use is for landscape irrigation. In many cases, the water used for this purpose is water that has been treated to drinking water standards. Plants do not need drinking quality water like we do.
During the lawn fertilization season, use responsible practices to help keep nutrients out of streams, rivers ponds, and lakes.
For those who live in town, it is important to know that most curbs and storm sewer systems drain directly into surface water. As rainwater flows over surfaces like pavement and bare soil, it collects materials such as soil, plant and animal waste and fertilizers, which contribute nutrients to surface waters.
Floods cause damage to trees in two main ways – physical and physiological. The severity of damage is determined by many different factors, including the tree species, beginning health of the tree, length of flooding event, depth of the water, amount of soil removed or deposited over the tree’s root system and time of year flooding occurs. Generally, broadleaved trees tolerate flooding better than conifers, such as pine, spruce and fir.