It’s official, summer is here! With it comes the warmer more humid days we look forward to most of the year. Since we have had so much rain this spring it comes as a reminder that it is important to pay attention to the weather. First let me say that Daylilies are one of the hardiest plants out there but there are conditions where no plant can survive. If you are planting in a low spot, for example, you should be aware that there is a greater likelihood that root rot will set in if the soil remains wet for an extended period of time. There are plants that can still thrive with wet feet that would be a good choice for planting in that type of area.
Common sense dictates that if it is raining it is not a good time to be handling your plants. Besides not wanting to get wet there are good reasons for this. There are bacterial and fungal pathogens that grow in extended wet conditions. They can attack both the roots and the foliage of your plants. Indications of this would be water spots on the foliage, decaying and/or yellowing, large patches of browning leaves, stems or flowers, to wilting of the plant followed by death. When the weather is extreme it can even adversely affect the bee’s ability to effectively pollinate the blooms and fruit.
Clearing dead leaves, flowers and clearing any debris surrounding your plants will allow air to flow around them better and make such diseases less likely to occur. After the rain has ended I know you will be looking forward to getting into the garden. Resist the urge to walk through the garden until the soil has had a chance to dry since it is best not to walk directly on wet soil surrounding the plants. Doing so can compact the soil and limit root growth unless you are using mulch on the walking areas between the plants to reduce the impact. The mulch should be no more than one or two inches deep so it can dry out quickly and not become hospitable for these diseases normally associated with routinely wet soil.
There are a couple of ways to correct this water retention problem with in low lying soil. One is to build raised beds and allow for adequate drainage. Another idea is to divert the water around the plantings if they are on a slope. Slugs also like to hide in damp areas so it is best to get rid of their hiding spots like wooden boards, flat stones or even large wood chips.
Now that we have covered the bases of wet plants let’s discuss how the summer gardener can take care of themselves. It is wise to wear sunscreen and a hat with loose, light colored clothing so you don’t get overheated. Rest regularly and hydrate. Pace yourself and don’t do the more strenuous work late in the day when it is the hottest. Go slow and enjoy your time in the garden while you benefit from being outside. It is clearly part of a healthy lifestyle to spend time outdoors.
So lets take a tour of the garden this week. We will start with the row upon row of blooming Stella de Oro and Black Eyed Stella. Next up is the Yellow Bouquet also a favorite for its early bloom.
Here is another darker colored blooming Daylily.
And here are some more early blooming yellow daylilies.
Here is what the show gardens are looking like now.
Then we get to the Hostas.
The next stop is the bed beside the driveway.
Outside and inside the greenhouse.
And we’ll close out today’s blog with a simple photo of some gorgeous potted and cut flowers.