High Temps & Little Rain.....

Well, it's been one of those summers that tries even the most seasoned plantsman's mettle. March was one of the wettest on record, with frequent soaking rains bringing the promise of a lush, cool, wet spring. That never happened. What did happen was a long dry spell that began in April and has continued into July. We are down six inches of rain compared to the seasonal average. Add to that weeks of above average temperatures, a few record highs and two certified heat waves, begining right after the rain fest came to an abrupt halt. It was a tease, the wetness of March getting everything off to what looked like a great start, and indeed, for a while, plants were doing quite well. But now, the landscapes that do not have irrigation are suffering.
Roadside plantings not yet established, and even some that are, are browning and dropping their foliage. Grasses,wild and in lawn form, are punching out as if it is hot, mid-August already. And this began in June. Even established gardens and plantings are in distress, hydrangeas, for example, severely wilted with their flowers looking burnt and faded. It is definitely one of those growing seasons that challenges anyone involved with outdoor horticulture. We did get some rain these past few days, the super humid, saturated air finally giving up some of it's moisture. Some areas got up to an inch, but these locations were isolated. Still, most of the island got at least a soaking. It helped. Plants do look better for now. Hopefully more will come soon, and we gardeners can relax a bit and take a break from the constant watering.


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