Have You Noticed Things Wrong With Your Yard This Year?
Let’s be honest, we had it pretty easy this winter. Yes we got snow, pretty much all of it at one time for the whole season made for a bit of work. I know, I say that as the person who did NOT have to spend endless hours plowing, snow blowing, or shoveling her way out. So anyway, let’s start after “The Snow” of 2016…
Hurry Up Spring!
Winter can make us a little impatient for spring to get here. And then when spring has a bit of a temper tantrum and refuses to show up, well, we can get crabby. But have you stopped and thought of the impact is having on your yard? Honestly, I can say I never really did, until this year.
Cold Spell, Again
My first observation came shortly after one of the “cold spells” we got when spring was supposed to have safely arrived. In case you didn’t know, for those of us who LOVE gardening, the rule of thumb is to not plant annuals till after May 15th. This date is thought to be safe from any more surprise frost occurrences that would harm our beloved flowers. And as many of us gardeners also know, we have a really, really hard time waiting for May! This is the first time in over 20 years I did NOT buy any annuals till the end of May and the ones I bought were only for pots, none when directly in the ground. Of course now I am glad I didn’t, I don’t know if I could have kept up with watering them enough. So if May 15th is supposedly a safe bet for annual flowers, what about our perennials, trees, insects, the birds, etc?
Perennials, the Plants That Keep Coming Back
Perennials come in a huge assortment of sizes, colors, foliage’s, etc. They usually are pretty adaptable with our weather, but this year I had a “first”. I have a nicely sized selection of daylilies thanks to my father. After this yo-yoing of warm and cold weather one particular daylily was not faring well at all. Everything about it said “UH OH”. It drooped; its foliaged was limp and pale. I kept an eye on it not sure if it would survive this volatile spring weather.
That’s when I also noticed the huge Oak tree on the side of my driveway, the one I often park my car under. Leaves are popping all over except for the top of the tree! Seems quite a few limbs are missing buds at the ends. Let me also tell you this tree is big enough that under the right storm conditions, it could fall on to my car AND my house! The more I looked at this tree, the more it bothered me. Finally I called my knowledgeable buddy, Harry, a certified tree arborist, from Gilded Tree. He informed that my tree wasn’t dying, it was “scorched”. In other words, it was hurting from a serious lack of water over a consistent period of time.
What About All The Bug Babies?
Also, being a gardener, I LOVE having Praying Mantises around. I collect their egg sacks and attach them to bushes for the winter. The egg sacks normally hatch when the temperatures stay over 74 degrees. This Spring I definitely worried about how this hatch would turn out, if they would survive at all. I am happy to report that there are survivors, though I don’t see nearly as many as I usually do. Want to know what I have seen more of this year? Cicada Killers. Can’t say I have any explanation for it.
I suppose by now you’re wondering by now just what on Earth is the point I am trying to reach? Pretty simple really. This is the first year I have really considered the impact of people, pollutions, etc, in our environment in my everyday life.
- The erratic spring climate almost cost me my daylilies.
- How will it impact the farmer’s crops this year?
- The mild winter was probably easy on the deer, which could very well resulted in an influx of multiple births. More deer….that’s a whole other ballgame there!!!
- I have found several bird nests with dead baby birds, is this also a result of the inconsistent spring weather? Do I dare mention chemicals?
- The shortage of rainfall has turned the babbling brook in my backyard to a trickle. Even after the year’s rainfall happening, all at once, last weekend, its back to a trickle .
- Have you seen how low the reservoirs and rivers are?
- It has had a serious influence on the big Oak in my driveway. This will cost me some $$$ for necessary fertilization and hazard pruning to bring it back to good health (and off my car and house!) Also lost an apple tree in the back yard (so did my neighbor across the street)..
- How many other trees are in jeopardy from lack of rain over the past several years? A lot of times we don’t see the damage till years after the fact!
- I am trying hard not to dwell on the water level in my well…
I suppose you get the idea where I’m going with this, cause seriously; there are so many, more questions! I know I am guilty of conveniently thinking these things are someone else’ problem, way too often. The past months have been like a smack to the head to “snap out of it”. We earnestly need to start paying more attention to our environment if we want to continue to enjoy it.
While looking for facts to back up what I am writing about I came across the EPA “My Community” website. While skimming through the various sources of information I took a quick peek at “My Water”. Simply put your zip code in and an extraordinary amount of data about the water in your area is available, and scary! YUP….just got smacked upside the head again!
In A Nutshell
We ALL need to (if you haven’t already) be accountable for our actions and how they affect our environment. Every little bit helps. I’m not talking about becoming the next environment evangelist over night, but there is always something that each and every one of us can do without being radical. I will openly admit that until the garbage companies made a “one bin take all” recycling can, I was not much for it. Nowadays we barely have one kitchen size bag of garbage a week! Now I’m a recycling maniac and still marvel at how much goes in that bin every week….and it really didn’t require a whole lot of effort either.
So please folks, if you love your yard and everything in it, even just a fraction as much as I do, let’s all take some baby steps today to keep our world beautiful!