Storms and drought

Tue. Jul. 12, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Storms and drought

Whatever your political bent, our climate is changing.  Things are warming up and our storms are intensifying.  How do gardeners help our plants or, better yet, accommodate our changing climate for our garden?

storm damaged garden

While hopefully nothing like this happened to YOU, there are some tips for changing climates and protecting your plants, as well as some resilient vegetables!

An article in Northern Gardener magazine points out some great ways to do that.  Start by planting and caring for trees properly.  Yesterday I shared with you the recent storm damage to Linden trees planted improperly, beat with a lawn mower and then strangled with plastic tubing.  Here’s the deal, trees, shrubs and fences create protected areas for more delicate plants, so treat them right.  Other areas to plant vulnerable plants are near buildings or under eaves.

Peony support - Lee Valley
Peony support – Lee Valley

Prune strategically and add support for those delicates such as delphinium.  Tall plants without sturdy stems will lay right over and may take more time than you’re willing to give them to recover.  You can place hoops around peonies, yarrows and salvia early on or choose stocky, sturdy plants like yuccas and verbascums.

large fleshy rooted Yucca filamentosa
large fleshy rooted Yucca filamentosa



Veggies can take a beating in the heat and humidity and some never recover.  There are some resilient vegetables that and herbs that tolerate those conditions.  Melons, sweet potatoes, oregano and thyme.  Tomatoes like “Sungold”, one of my favorites, ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Heat Wave’ will do well in hot years.  Lettuce almost always bolts and becomes bitter but ‘Buttercrunch’ and ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ are less prone to that.

Tomato 'Sungold' 8-16-15
Tomato ‘Sungold’ 8-16-15
Lettuce 'Buttercrunch'
Lettuce ‘Buttercrunch’



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