Remembering the Drought of 2016

Be prepared New England. The negative impact of the 2016 drought may be visible now. 

Water deficits cause the fine root hairs of plants and shrubs, especially newly planted ones, to close and desiccate.   As the root length shrinks, the plant becomes unstable and vulnerable to diseases and insects.  If you begin noticing wilt, lost branches, mushrooms found on the base of a tree (root rot) or larger openings (cankers) in the bark, it may be a symptom of drought injury.

And while it's easy to forget all of those water bans, it is important to remember these effects when diagnosing plant problems this season.


Drought Resistant Tips

1. Layer 3 inches of mulch to the END of the canopy or drip line of a shrub or tree.

2. Don't prune or fertilize during dry periods as it stimulates growth.

3. If a "sun loving plant" keeps wilting, it may need organic materials (compost, peat) mixed deep into the soil

4. Water slow and deep, up to 3 times a week for tender or new plants.

5. REMOVE weeds.  They steal water and nutrients in your soil.

6.  Begin choosing drought tolerant alternatives. They are just as beautiful and low maintenance. These may include shrubs like, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Junipers, Smoketree or perennials, such as, yarrow, coreopsis (tickseed), cranesbill, daylily, sedum, lavender, and potentilla.