Press-Republican

Columns

September 17, 2012

Ways to care for perennial garden after hot, dry summer

That soaking rain we had a couple of weeks ago was a welcome relief to the extended drought we had been experiencing. 

Most areas got 3 inches overnight, but that was two weeks ago, and we need more. With such a heavy rain, most of it ran right off into rivers and ditches; there just wasn’t enough time for it to soak in. It helped, no doubt about it, but separate episodes of rain, one inch at a time, would be much more beneficial. So keep watering your late-season gardens as well as any trees and shrubs you’ve planted in the last couple of years to help them get well-established before winter.

Mums, or chrysanthemums, are for sale everywhere. I usually recommend treating these as showy annuals; enjoy their color through the fall then toss them on the compost pile. If you want to try to get them established in your perennial garden, plant them as soon as you get them and pamper them through the fall. They’ll need to grow a good root system to anchor them in your garden soil before the ground freezes this winter. It’s a bit of gamble as to whether they’ll come back next year and bloom, but you might want to give it a try. My gardens are so full right now that I just enjoy mums in pots on my front porch.

My perennial garden looks pretty bedraggled right now. Drought and insects beat up a lot of my plants. I expect them all to come back next year, though, so all I need to do now is cut any unsightly stems down to the ground. By removing the tattered plants, my remaining plants will look that much better. My peonies, baptisia, balloonflower, fall aster, giant Solomon’s seal and coral bells all look great right now. Except for the asters, these plants aren’t in flower, but their foliage is beautiful with various textures, sizes and colors.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time