We’re in a Drought!!January 22nd, 2018
The Fall of 2017 was EXTREMELY MILD! Landscapers took full advantage of the extended season…planting new turf grass, perennials, groundcovers, shrubs and trees. Fall planting is most definitely desirable because cooler weather and fall rainfall TYPICALLY allow for root growth and giving new plant material to settle in/establish. Additionally, the first few months of 2017 were also unseasonably mild. November and December of this past year were dry, DRY, DRY!…the driest since 1989! Not only the last two months of 2017, but indeed September through December have not been as dry since 1989! We are abnormally dry! We are in an EXTREME DROUGHT, folks!! The artic blasts of late combined with local drought conditions are going to equate to critical damage and potential mortality in plants – both deciduous and evergreen.
“Simply stated, I am saying: we are in a drought, drag your hoses out!!!” says Jen Mikiska, Construction Field Operations Manager and a designer for SFP Landscaping. She adds “Since landscape irrigation systems are shut down for the winter season, hand watering is vital especially for new(er) plant material. Even established items are experiencing heavy stress. Granted, it is not “fun” to drag out hoses when it is above 40 degrees, spend time hand watering and then detach and drain the hoses, BUT neither is the prospect of losing plants.”
SFP’s In-house turf expert and Operations Manager, Jeremy Lentz is concerned about the potential for turf damage. “The fact that lawns were continuing to feed during last year’s late, warm fall, along with the lack of natural rainfall after irrigation systems were shut down is creating a very stressful situation for turf. It is going to be so important to feed lawns early to be assured that those roots have the right nutrition to keeping going and growing to make sure they will be what we and our customers want to see this coming spring.”