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El Nino and Our Gardening

El Nino and Our Gardening

By Kevin Cutlip

After last Winters wrath, I assume, we are all enjoying this year’s warmth. I, for one, am. I found it odd that we were selling Christmas Trees to folks, wearing flip flops, shorts, and tank tops. We went home every night covered in sap, which the warmth, brought out more than usual. Every now and then, El Nino shows up. This one in particular, the most powerful in 68 years, named, “Bruce Lee”. El Ninos usually hang around for 1 to 5 years. So what’s this have to do with gardening?

Outdoor time is prolonged for most of us, even as the days got shorter and wetter, we still cooked out, went to the park and did things we would not normally do in December, right? Well, our landscaping and surroundings did too. Most went unnoticed. Or did they?

We are seeing a lot of plants either still going strong or blooming way early, yellowing instead of dropping leaves, becoming infested with bugs, bats or fungus. Moles are also still tunneling strong because the grubs won’t go down. Scale, Thrips, Ladybugs, Praying Mantis hatchlings, Honey Bees and Yellow Jackets are still wondering about the weather, themselves. Now, we are even gaining daylight!


The current cycle of the weather is pretty cool if you have been watching. Every 7 days, we have the same trend. For gardening, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. I see mosquitoes, flies, and other such annoyances hatching and intruding, only to then be killed off by a freeze. Day Lilies are in bloom, fruits and berries are shooting, Ornamental Trees are blooming at the top West sides. All in all, everything is confused, with Mother Natures trickery.

So, will we have a Spring Blooming Season? Oh yeah, it will come. Plants have a way of re-starting because they know. Yes, your bulbs will re-bloom because they have to to produce leaf to fulfill Photosynthesis as well as to re-feed the bulb. The fruits and ornamentals will come back as well because they have to produce a fruit to produce a seed to carry on genetically. So don’t panic! Just get those cool pics in December and January of hydrangeas shooting, the sporadic blooms produced on blueberries and Knock-out Roses bursting in color. Behind them will be burgundy Firepower Nandina and Ornamental Grasses, still flushing green. But no rose hips, right?

So, sit back, relax and enjoy “Maycember 2015”, and remember “How it was then”. Things will still be very wet in the coming months, so pull back the mulch a bit from your beds and shrubs so they can dry. Watch for fungus issues and come see us if you aren’t sure. Above all, keep your garden journal, either in a notebook, or with pics. Time-Date-Stamps are a Garden-saving resource for future reference.

Fun fact: A couple of weeks ago, us nursery peeps were adding up our collective ages, and found that there are 500 plus years of gardening experience at your disposal! We have the knowledge and can help you get thru “Bruce Lee, El Nino, 2015/2016”.

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