Giving up the garden? How much more stress can our plants take?

Note: this article was shared in 2016, after severe storms affected the Front Range.

It's been a tough time for Colorado yards this year. 

Plants have been beaten up in a series of unfortunate weather - and property owners are dealing with serious plant damage and loss. Devastating weather incidents like last week's storms in Colorado Springs take a toll both on plant material and the ability to get work done.

Should plants be replaced with the same variety as the one that was lost?  If you love to see burning bush in the fall, by all means plant another one. Or take the opportunity to seek out new plants. Look for hardy varieties. You might like the new look.

Cumulative effects of moisture
Moisture, humidity and saturated soils from storms can have a longterm effect on plant and tree health.

Saturated soils can make evergreens, especially mature spruce, more susceptible to blow over in heavy winds. Highly saturated soils will also cause oxygen starvation around roots as water pushes out the air molecules in the root zone. Roots need this breathing room to stay healthy and without it, plants will suffer.

Diseases and pests
Moisture and humidity will also set up conditions for certain plant diseases such as verticillium wilt and powdery mildew, which can impact many common edibles. The good news with some of these problems is that hot, dry weather is the natural cure. 

Pests thrive during stressful conditions, so be sure to work with an expert who can monitor plants for damaging levels of insects and treat them when needed.

Storm damage has delayed all kinds of landscape projects. Equipment can't work in mud, and you can't plant in saturated soil. Many companies are 4 to 6 weeks behind schedule simply because the ground has been too wet for work. And hail damage to fleet vehicles can keep employees from getting to the job site.

With each storm the backlog for tree services grows longer. Companies must triage the damage after each storm. Fallen or leaning trees posing danger to life and property are top priority, which then delays work that was already scheduled. 

Weather has made delays unavoidable. Be patient and know that it's worth the wait to have a good landscape company do the work as soon as Mother Nature lets up.

Need help getting your yard back in shape?  Find a Pro from the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado with members in six chapters statewide.

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Get information to help your yard recover from storm damage.    

Need to dispose of tree limbs and dead plants? Find a list of recycling centers located near you.

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