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Harsh Weather Planting

Harsh Weather Planting

We all have observed the difference in weather patterns the past couple of years. Resulting in a constant battle to keep your garden happy and healthy, when in the past mother nature could be left alone with this task.

There are some things that are just unavoidable in our changing climate and others that with a little extra care can be mended.

What can’t be helped

“The new norm” – Icy warm winters, flip flopping temperatures come springtime, hot & dry summers, and warm warm then suddenly frigid fall.

We use hardiness and heat zones to determine suitability for planting. It is expected that these zones will shift as temperatures increase.

Not much can be done about this, although it is still important to understand it’s effects.

Winter –
Warm winter spells cause plants to prematurely come out of dormancy. Sometimes to the point of budding, meaning when the cold returns those shocked flower buds die.
And with many plants moving into the winter months not in a dormant state, even regular weather patterns like snow can be damaging. Entire branches tore down by the weight of their heavy leafy limbs, which should have shed long before.
Spring –
We’ve seen it again and again, seemingly worse each year. Spring blooms weakened by too early warmth followed by a frost. Resulting in damaged blooms, shortened blooms, and even no blooms at all.
Another interesting effect is instead of all at once (excluding the early bloomers) spring tends to come through in stages now. I sometimes worry that a full spring bloom is a thing of the past.
Summer –
Too little rain and way too much sun; Taking the two necessary components of healthy plant life and turning them on their head.
Unless personal action is taken these plants are lucky to merely survive the heat, thriving for many is just not possible.
Fall –
An early or sudden freeze & opposite that an extreme heat period, can both result in wilted foliage before the leaves had a chance to change color and drop naturally.
Branch die back is another danger caused by irregular fall weather. Summer heat hangs around longer than ever before, giving plants no time to prepare for the cold. The only plus side being an extended growing season.

What can be helped

Droughtier droughts and rainer rains is one of the ironic traits of our changing climate. Although requiring intervention this is one aspect of the weather where we do have some control.

Water in the morning and if needed at high sun to cool down your near crisp plants. Also planting drought tolerant plants, especially natives, is a great solution. They are better equipt to survive, thrive, and adapt. While also providing pollinators local nature’s finest.

Same goes for the opposite – native plants handle flood waters best as they can create an incredibly strong root network.
For consistently wet grounds though unless expensive water drainage is implemented planting plants that can survive standing water is your cheapest alternative.

Perennial plants that tolerate standing water and flooded areas include:
Water hyssop
Elephant’s ear
Swamp sunflower
Scarlet swamp hibiscus
Don’t let mother nature harsh your planting spirit; With a little attention to your current environment finding a compatible plant is easy.
And if you aren’t too sure leave it to us at Jamison Lawn Care to help. We take into consideration all aspects of your property from deer traffick to sun patterns and water tables.
Ensuring your grounds arent fighting against your leafy friends and instead are working together.