Ohio weather can be finicky. As Forest Gump said, “you never know what you're gonna get”. No statement holds more true in regards to our weather.
Just look at last weekend’s mid June like 80 degree temperatures followed by freezing temperatures a few days later. One of my staff said it best, “ My bulbs grew 6” over the past few days, the cold came and they retreated back to 2”. No, this did not happen but it sets the tone for things this spring.
In looking and comparing current temperatures to last year’s, we are 18 days behind matching temps. This means it is April 27th and last year we were the same temperature April 9th based on “growing degree days”. That’s a huge difference.
Add to the mix a ton of rain and it really can be quite disheartening.
Fast forward to May’s prediction of the forecast and it seems much the same. Most agree it will be cooler than normal and rainier than most May’s in Ohio. One prediction stated we would have 19 days of rain. Hopefully this will not become factual.
One plant group that is definitely loving the weather are weeds. All this rain has weeds sprouting anywhere and everywhere. So many of my clients have brought me samples of aggressively growing plants wondering if they are perennials. Thistle, wild onion and poison hemlock seem to be leading the most growing list. The problem is most weed killers are not that effective during periods of cold weather. The Weed Free Zone by Fertilome is the exception. This product can be used in your yard or landscape beds now with great results. It is the only product I have found which eliminates wild onions once and for all. It does a great job on thistles too. It will not harm the grass in your lawn. This is the go-to product during cool weather to kill weeds now.
Add a preventative weed killer now before more weeds sprout. Hy Yields Turf and Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper does a great job of preventing weeds from sprouting. The combination of these two products will help to minimize your weed problems.
It's not too late to prevent crabgrass in your lawn. I like Fertilome, For All Season Lawn Food Plus Crabgrass and Weed Preventer. This product stops crabgrass and weed seed from germinating in the lawn for up to 5 months.
As for insects, the azalea lace wing bug will be emerging soon. If you had yellowish, silver or white spots on your azalea leaves, you probably have azalea lace bugs. Another tell tale sign is when you turn a leaf over and a sticky substance or black spots are apparent. I like to use a Systemic Spray you mix with water and coat all the leaves you can.
Viburnum leaf Beetle will be hatching soon this next week. A spray of horticultural oil or Spinosad will help control these leaf eating beetles. You can also use Fertilome's Tree and Shrub Drench as well. It is recommended you put it on after flowers fade to minimize the effect of harming pollinators.
This weather will turn around soon. Keep an eye on low temperatures of 38 or below and keep those sheets or burlap handy. A quick cover will protect your plants from the harm of cold. Rest assured the sun will shine, flowers will bloom, and spring will arrive. One positive of cooler weather is plants will bloom longer! We all will enjoy that!!
J.R. Pandy, "The No B.S.Gardener"
Pandy's Premier Garden Center