Press-Republican

Columns

July 23, 2012

Plants can get stressed, too

Do you ever feel stressed? I imagine you’re all thinking “Need you ask?”

If you don’t ever feel stressed, please call and tell me your secret and I will pass it on to the rest of my readers!

We all know that being under constant stress can wear us down and make us more susceptible to illness. Did you know that the same is true for your plants, trees, vegetables and lawns?

You may not think that your plants have much to be stressed about, but there are many factors that stress the things growing in our yards and gardens. High temperatures, long periods without rain, too much rain, wind, not enough air circulation, too many insects, not enough pollinators, weeds, and a host of other factors can challenge our plants. Sometimes we are aware of these factors and can act to minimize the stress, other times we may be oblivious to them.

None of us like to feel that we are at the mercy of nature when we have spent so much time, energy and expense on our landscaping, but we are. We can’t control the elements but there are some steps we can take to minimize the stress that our plants are subjected to.

The most important step is to put the “right plant” in the “right place.” This simply means that we have to know the requirements of what we are planting and make sure that the area we want to plant in meets the plants needs. You may want a certain plant but if you do not have the right spot to put it you may be sorely disappointed that it does not do well.

The next step is to prevent as many problems as possible by using disease and pest resistant varieties. We have lists of varieties that may help you with this. A little homework on your part can save you lots of work and many dollars.

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Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

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