It’s been quite a year for weather and we’re only in July.The heat of Summer has arrived in full force. I can handle the heat, but the humidity is another matter. It couldn’t be my age contributing to the problem, could it? I consider myself pretty physically fit for my years, but sure can’t deal with Summer like when I was younger. In defense of that I must say though, that our summers are a LOT more humid than they were years ago. You’d have thought Mother Nature would have depleted her humidity source when she wrung out that 19 inches of rainfall in June. I know folks who had water seeping into basements that had never been wet prior to that. Some are still trying to dry out and make repairs. 

Enough rain fell that the water tables couldn’t absorb any more. Folks began asking me why soil in their yards was turning into sand. I knew it was a by-product of the heavy rainfall and a call to the Extension Office confirmed just that. All the rain had washed away the lighter topsoil leaving the heavier sand behind. I was told to dig down several inches (about the depth of a trowel) and I should hit good soil. I had amended my beds when first tilling years ago and that and the ground covers and mulch had left them in good shape. If you don’t reach good soil at that depth, you probably should amend it with compost or add in some good topsoil. Both can be found at local garden centers. 

Another side-effect of the prolonged period of rain caused Darren with Quality Outdoor to have to make adjustments on some of my scheduled lawn treatments. Granular treatments need moisture after, but not so much as to wash it away. Spraying has to be done when winds are light. Some things need several hours of rain-free time to work. He made many extra trips for his clients to complete treatments that normally could be done all at the same time. I don’t know how he kept his sanity! He’s finally done with my yard till the Fall treatment time. I had him add something for ants (another pest due to the rainfall) as well as the usual flea, tick and grubs treatment. Insects are worse in general this year due to a mild winter and cooler than expected spring and above normal moisture. 

Blackspot on the roses is rampant again in most gardens. So far I’ve only had two roses showing signs — one has nearly naked stems despite 7-10 day sprayings. Several friends are having the same problem and some are reconsidering roses at all. Others are having better luck with the Antique Roses as opposed to the newer “disease-resistant” ones. 

My lilacs have suffered as well, with insects and powdery mildew from all the moisture. Spraying couldn’t keep up. Hopefully the removal of all the diseased branches will stop the progression. I am sure it will however, hinder the amount of blooms next spring. 

What we need now is plentiful sunshine and moderating temps and a little rainfall now and again but that in moderation also. 

Hope your summer is bug and disease free. 

Happy gardening 

One quick addition — flowers aren’t the only thing that brighten our lives. People can do that as well. One such person is Mr. Doug Kahm who for many years greeted everyone entering our local Wal-Mart with a smile and a hug. Although they no longer use greeters ( a sad fact) he is still there back in the fitting room area and as always ready to greet you with a smile and a hug. Swing by and say hi and brighten his day while he brightens yours.

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