10December 29, 2016

It is the end of December and I usually reflect on what has happened in the last gardening year. By all standards, it was an odd year.

We had a relatively snow less year. Everyone had high hopes for an early spring. Many of you wouldn’t have thought that an open winter could have lead to the death of so many plants in perennial beds. All the alternate freezing and thawing led to major destruction of the roots of so many plants. When spring arrived, we had so many days of fog and misty weather. It felt like it rained a lot but it really did not rain a lot. When the weather finally broke, people were in a planting mood. Soon the summer came and with it a lack of rain. Water bans went into effect and many people could not keep their plants alive. Once the regular growing season ended in the fall, the rain became more common. I remember people who told me that they wanted to repair the summer damage to their lawn and that they were going to give re-seeding the lawn a chance. The rain did come and those who re-seeded their lawn had good success at getting the seed to grow.

So what does this tell us about gardening? In so many cases, it’s all about the weather. If we get too little rain, you can water your plants. If the lack of rain continues and water bans go into effect, you may lose some of your plants. On the other hand, if we get rainy days after rainy days, the plants can get fungus diseases and the plants may die. But in those seasons when we get some rainy days and a lot more sunny days, the payoff can be great. Beautiful flowerbeds and beautiful containers of flowers. Vegetable garden will provide a bounty that at times is more than you can handle.

The take away from all of this is that gardening is a constant learning process. You learn from what Mother Nature gives us to work with concerning the weather. You learn to use gray water in the dry seasons and you learn to spot and treat for fungus diseases in the wet seasons. Unfortunately, we do tend to remember the really bad years and forget about those beautiful growing seasons. I would guess that is human nature. But as the weather warms in the spring, true gardeners get the itch and the planting season begins again. Winter may be upon us but spring isn’t too far off. Let’s start planning for the spring to come and when it is time to plant those first packs of pansies, we will know that gardening season is upon us once again.

Well that’s all for this week. I hope you have a safe and happy New Years celebration.

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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