Recovering from the 2012 Drought
Is your garden part of the country that is experiencing the drought this year? How's it looking now? If the answer is bad, here are a few tips for getting it back into shape.
It's not over until the plant doesn't leaf out next spring. While a tree or shrub might look dead as a door nail right now, it might just be dormant. First, scratch the stem to see if there is green under the bark. Green means life. If there isn't go ahead and replace the plant.
Wait to prune dead stems and branches until next spring. You'll better be able to see what needs pruning and you won't further stress the plant.
Keeping watering until the ground freezes or regular rain returns. Water deep with soaker hoses rather than frequent short waterings. Look for tree bags to help for watering trees.
Surviving plants may show signs of drought stress next spring. Stunted growth and stem die-back can result from the previous season's dry spell. Also keep an eye out for canker disease on trees and insect infestations.
It may seem a little early to bring up Christmas, but it is time to start preparing your poinsettia for re-bloom. On Labor Day move the plant indoors to an area where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Come October, confine the plant to 14 hours of total darkness and 10 hours of light per day. Do this until mid-December. This should force the green bracts to color again.