Where's the Whining Forum? I Give Up!

onthebrinck(6 Central New Jersey)June 27, 2010

I'm not really giving up ... but boy, this has been a challenging 7 months for gardening in my new house.

I moved in December 1st, and within 3 weeks we had the worst snowfalls anyone in town ever remembered. Half a dozen of the 20' cypress were bent to the ground and 4 snapped. there were 3 branches on this 40' tall cedar each more than 12" in diameter that simply broke and hung there for weeks until I could reach them. Then January featured windstorms with shearing horizontal winds topping 50 mph: I piled branches and debris equivalent to 3 car lengths 4' tall at the curb. The wettest March on record --- 6" of standing water on the patio and the sump pump broke --- whitefly enjoyed it though. Extra sandy topsoil delivered, 50 new shrubs and perennials planted, 500 annuals ... and now 9 days without even a trace of rain --- 4 hours of watering per day to keep the grass from completely dying and the annuals from shriveling to nothing --- everything is barely holding on and certainly nothing is showing new growth.

I am hoping this is just 'paying my dues' for a glorious summer season!

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You forgot the March Nor'icane (as I call it). Where locally we had near hurricane force winds for hours on end. It' been abnormally warm (and dry) since about April. I have one big tree behind my property that has already dropped all its leaves! I tend to not worry about the grass and let it go dormant in the heat. I DO vigilantly water all recently planted trees and shrubs (those planted within the past two years!). I'm not big on annuals and the a lot of the perennial plant material I have is drought tolerant (everything from hardy Opuntia cacti, to bamboo to yucca). Doesn't look like much widespread rain in the extended forecast so keep watering for now. But you know when it turns around we'll be dealing with record flooding.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:31AM
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onthebrinck(6 Central New Jersey)

More than a week later, and still not a trace of rain --- and forecasts for record-breaking heat and bone dry for at least 4 more days. Two major thunderstorms passed by, but my town was the eye of the needle. I've devised a system of micro-moats around newly planted perennials and shrubs to allow water to puddle there and that seems to help them survive. Even the tops of established pine trees are turning brown. I hand water twice a day now; fours hours. I've learned some valuable lessons through this about plant survival, soil composition, watering techniques. Let's hope enough of my planting survives this year for me to employ my new-found wisdom --- hehe.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 4:04AM
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