I don’t think I can remember having better Memorial Day holiday weekend weather than we had this past week. It was pretty incredible, and I was able to work all three days in the garden. I got my entire vegetable garden planted as well as some of my containers and flower beds.
Topping it all off, some areas had a perfectly gentle falling rain on Monday evening. If only all rainfalls could be that perfect.
The storm that came through my area on the previous Wednesday, May 21, damaged my landscape. It hailed for a solid 10 minutes at my house, leaving quite a bit of plant damage.
Hail is not good for plants and is one of those weather occurrences where you just have to stand helplessly at the window, waiting it out. The hail was only about a half-inch in diameter, but many of my landscape plants ended up with shredded foliage.
If this occurs to your garden, you can cut perennials back completely or remove the damaged leaves. This depends on the extent of the damage.
In terms of the annuals that I put in my containers, I am waiting until they grow a little more before I remove the damaged leaves. There weren’t a bunch of leaves to begin with.
In terms of my trees and shrubs, I am just letting them go. Damaged leaves will eventually turn brown and fall off.
As I said, there is very little that you can do during a hail storm. It’s a tough thing to handle, especially if you are a farmer and this occurs to your crops.
Now is the time you really need to be on top of watering new plants. The first few weeks are critical for good root establishment.
Make sure when you water that you soak the plants thoroughly, and then you don’t have to water as often. In addition, you get a nice root system established, as opposed to a root system that is shallow and depends on frequent irrigation.
In the lawn, it’s time for your second application of fertilizer. If you are going after the broadleaf weeds, you can use a combination product that has weed control and fertilizer.
If you fertilize your perennials, do it now. You can either use a slow-release fertilizer that lasts all season or use a flower bed fertilizer, following label recommendations.
Annuals also need fertilization to keep them nice throughout the season. You can use a slow-release fertilizer, which lasts all season. Slow-release fertilizers have the necessary nutrients packaged in one tiny pellet. The nutrients are released with heat and moisture.
Or, if you prefer, use a quick-release liquid fertilizer, just be sure to follow label instructions in terms of application rates as well as how often to apply.
Trees and shrubs also benefit from fertilization in the spring if they need it. How do you know if they need it? A soil test is the answer, of course.
Once my trees and shrubs are established (after about five years) I really don’t fertilize these plants, as our clay soils have pretty good amounts of needed nutrients.