Don’t Be Fooled By A Little Rain

Burned rhododendron leaves

Now that we’ve hit the month of October, we’ve actually had a little rain in my part of the country. For those of you that are still in drought, I am sorry.

But by a little rain, I do mean a little–we’re still talking under 2″–and less than we should have had by this point in the month–as of the drafting of this post. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

My shrubs made it through most of the drought with very little supplemental watering–if any–because of my extremely heavy clay soil. But that doesn’t mean they were unscathed as you can see by the burned leaves in the above photo.

Still I am very fortunate. Driving around town, I see whole sections of rhododendrons dead in some places. I’m not sure whether I’m grateful that folks are mindful of drought and are careful with water–or if I think folks are just not paying any attention.

Either way, if these shrubs don’t get a lot more water, there are going to be a lot more dead shrubs at the end of winter.

As a good New England gardener, I have dozens of hydrangeas. Despite my clay soil, they are very thirsty plants. I have had to water these more than anything in the yard including the vegetable garden. And yet, notice the result.

burned hydrangea leaves

These are not even the worst ones–the worst ones have died and fallen off. They are in a sunnier garden nearer the front of the house.

Lessons: keep watering your gardens (to the extent that you can stand to do it) until the ground freezes. It will help your trees and shrubs better survive the winter!

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