The Real Devil of Central & North Jersey Gardening: Weather Woes in Mendham

Too hot. Too cold. Too wet. Too dry.

It would be nice to have a summer with 90 days of perfect weather, but that’s not always the reality. More often than not, we spend the warm weather months protecting our plants against droughts or storms.

But it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Here are a few ways you can protect your plants this summer.

Dealing with heavy rains

Your plants need precipitation, but too much rain can take a toll on your landscape. Here are a few things you can do to protect your plants when the next downpour hits.

1. Protect your plants.

Woman pruning gardenBefore the storm arrives, remove dead or damaged shoots and limbs from your plant, leaving them streamlined and in less danger of snapping.

And the combination of heavy rains and stronger winds can be too much for tall, thin plants. Keep them safe before the next storm by putting a metal or wooden support in the ground and tying it to the plant.

2. Make sure there’s proper drainage

Avoid letting water pool in or near your garden, as this can drown your plants. Make sure there is adequate runoff that slants away from the garden. The same thing applies to pots and planters. These can become flooded as well without proper drainage.

Plastic sheeting over young lettuce3. Cover younger plants

Use waterproof sheeting to cover your youngest, most delicate plants, from flowers to herbs to veggies. Make sure the covering slopes downward to make sure it drains away from surrounding plants. Our Mendham Garden Centers can supply you with the materials you’ll need to keep your plants safe from heavy rains.

4. Return to your roots

Once the storm has passed, check your root vegetables to make sure eroding soil hasn’t exposed their roots. If you do spot exposed roots, cover them with soil or compost to prevent them from drying out.

Speaking of roots, the post-storm period is also a good time to do some weeding. Wet soil will make it easier to pull up the entire weed, roots and all.

Dealing with drought

Pea plant sprouts in droughtDrought is a dirty word here at our Mendham Garden Centers, we get our fair share of rain each year, but every so often, we’ll see a dry spell that leaves our plants parched.

If you’re worried about the effect hot, dry weather will have on your garden, take these measures to keep your plants safe and healthy.

1. Invest in good soil

Plants thrive in loose, nutrient-rich soil. If your soil is too sandy, it loses moisture and nutrients too fast. And clay soils tend to dry out and harden in droughts. A visit to our Mendham Garden Centers will allow you to pick up some good soil to allow your plants’ roots to run deeper.

Mulch in vegetable garden2. The miracle of mulch

Once you’ve added the right mix of soil, cover it with a three-inch layer of mulch. Adding mulch does a lot for your plants: it keeps the ground around the plants cool, prevents weeds from flourishing and allows soil to retain moisture.

3. Know when to water

Watering isn’t easy during a drought. Your local municipality or county might impose water restrictions, which can be tough on more tender plants.

Healthy, well-established shrubs and trees should be OK for a few weeks without water, but fledgling perennials and annuals need water more often. Keep an eye on these plants. When they begin to wilt, it’s time to give them a drink.

4. Know how to water

Watering bean plants from bottomWater slowly and deeply. Placing a trickling hose at the base of the plant will allow water to soak deep into the soil, giving the plant an adequate amount of moisture at its roots. Have an inch of water twice a week will usually do the job. Just remember that the plant’s entire root system needs water.

Still, have questions on how to protect your plants? Head to your nearest garden center. Mendham Garden Center has three locations: Mendham NJ, Chester NJ and Annandale NJ. Pay us a visit today, and our experts will get to work on helping you keep your plants happy and healthy.