Monday, July 13, 2015

Midwest Monsoon

     June in Chicago was not only colder than normal; it was also the wettest June since records began to be kept in 1895. July has been a bit warmer but the rains continue on and on.

    Our Midwest monsoon has altered what is happening in the garden.

     In our vegetable garden our cool weather crops like spinach and parsley practically took over. Our snow peas are still producing a pound a day of pea pods. In previous years they would be withering by now. Warm weather crops, though, like cukes and tomatoes, did next to nothing all June.

     Our pest problems have changed this year as well. I have had some normally hardy shrubs in low-lying spots that literally drowned this spring. As you might guess,  powdery mildew has become more of a problem than usual, as have other fungal diseases, and it is no surprise that slugs are having a great time. Scale launched a big attack on a well established magnolia for the first time this year. Nothing is quite normal and it behooves  us to inspect even previously healthy plants.

     Iris loved this spring for some reason.

     Knock-Out roses -- usually the hardiest variety in the rose family, had a rough time of it this spring and are only now recovering, while their usually more delicate cousins had a banner year. We just started this climbing rose late last fall.

          Our Jackmanii clematis and Asiatic lilies have also liked the season so far.

     Finally, the wet season resulted in a flood of work for me and my crew. We have still not caught up. And that is my excuse for being so tardy with this post. At  least the dog did not eat my homework.