I have been feeling soggy. Have you been feeling soggy? The Hort Whisperer emailed me and said the landscape is struggling, it’s been feeling soggy too.
Here in the Atlanta Metro area we are experiencing near record volumes of rain. We have had more rain through July of 2013, than we did the entire years of 2011 and 2012. We are on pace to have the wettest year ever! Does all this rain have a direct impact on our landscaping? You bet it does. There are 3 primary issues that keep popping up...weeds, disease, and the tumbling of trees.
A good chemical program includes a pre-emergent and a post-emergent. A pre-emergent is a chemical applied to the turf to kill the weeds before we see them. The problem with all this rain is that it’s depleting the pre-emergent of its potency. If the chemical is applied on Monday and it rains all week, it’s not going to be able to do its job as well. A post-emergent is applied after the weed is showing its face. The same outcome is happening though, when the chemical is applied directly to the weed and a nice shower comes, it washes most of it away. As you walk into your home or office and notice a few more weeds than you saw last year, be mindful that the weeds aren’t necessarily “worse” this year… We can just blame it on the rain.
All of this rain and humidity also invites diseases. Both turf and plants are more susceptible under these conditions. The effects noticed in the turf are a discoloration due to fungal diseases. You might see browned out patches, which is a disease that is actually called Brown Patch. Another one we are seeing a lot of is Dollar Spot. A fungicide can be applied to the turf to kill the diseases. It will take time and sunshine but it can be treated. Plants are vulnerable as well. Your annuals, or seasonal color, might be struggling from Root Rot or Crown Rot. Begonias are particularly susceptible. Their little roots are sitting in all that water without the proper sunshine and dry time which causes them to rot. Are your plants getting the funk? We can just blame it on the rain.
Have you driven through neighborhoods where trees are toppling over, or worse… is it happening on your property? This is a direct effect of all the rain. One function of the soil is to provide a secure and stable environment to help the roots do their jobs. All this rain is loosening up the soil so there is nothing to help stabilize the roots that keep the tree standing. Winds blow and there go the trees.We can just blame it on the rain.
Everything is greener and growing. Your shrubs are growing too and might need to be pruned more often. All the rain brings a different set of challenges than what we have dealt with the last few years. We will make it through this season and hopefully try to enjoy the greenness along the way, in spite of the headaches it can bring. If your landscape is a little worse for wear this summer, I will leave you with the words of Milli Vanilli-
Gotta Blame It On Something, Blame It On The Rain!!!