April 25, 2012
We finally have gotten some much-needed rain. I might be wrong, but during the rain I thought I heard the plants clapping their leaves together in a long round of applause. On the other hand, it could have been thunder.
Many of you may have planted grass seed before the heavy rain. If puddles of water formed on the seeded areas, the seed may have floated up from the soil. As the water settled, it may have taken the seed and moved it to low spots in the areas you seeded. You should take a look at the newly seeded areas to see if the seed has moved to low spots. If it has, you should add some more seed to those areas where you don’t see any seed. This will prevent you from have bare spots in your lawn once the seed has germinated.
There has been some confusion on the part of many gardeners concerning how safe it is to put plants in the ground. If the plants are perennials, it is OK to plant them into the ground. If you are planting annual flowers, there are some annuals that will tolerate cold temperatures. Some annuals will not take the cold. The vast majority of annual flowers will be damaged if we have a frost. The last average frost date is May 10 Th. We have had frost as late as the last week in May. If you plant annual flowers now, it is buyer beware.
People have also asked about planting vegetable plants now. Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Swiss chard can be planted now. There are also many vegetables you can plant from seed. It is definitely too early for planting tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and any of the other warm weather vegetable plants. Again, any frost will kill these plants.
We have had many people come into the store with leaves from their hydrangea plants. The leaves are either brown along the edges or the whole leave is brown. This has been the result of the warm March temperatures causing the leaves to appear on the plants earlier than normal. Once the leaves came out in March, we had a series of nights with below freezing temperatures. These low temperatures damaged the leaves. The bigger question is if the cold temperatures damaged the flower buds. Only time will tell if the flower buds have been damaged.
The rain will cause many of your perennials to shoot up new growth. If you have not put your plant supports in place over your peonies and other tall growing perennials, you should do so very soon. The combination of moisture in the soil and some sunshine will mean lots of new growth. Once the plants get to a certain size, it is all but impossible to get the plant supports in place. If you haven’t done this garden project yet, make it one of the garden projects for this weekend.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.