"December” and “drought” don’t seem to belong in the same breath, especially after such a damp spring and summer. But with a large deficit in moisture this fall, the drought continues and its cumulative effect is potentially harmful to landscapes.
Many believe that if after a large amount of moisture comes, it wipes away the drought effects. Unfortunately, plants can show signs of drought stress for seven to 10 years beyond a drought year. Luckily, deciduous plantings aren’t as vulnerable to drought and drying factors during the winter months.
However, evergreens and broadleaf evergreens are vulnerable. Both maintain foliage and after the ground freezes, they could lose moisture in their leaves during warmer days and cold winds.
The solution: treat evergreens and broadleaf evergreens with anti-drying (also known as anti-desiccant) sprays.
These organic products break down from heat and light but their effectiveness can last from one to three months after application. To prevent harm to the plant, apply them when daytime highs are between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no rain or frost for 24 hours.
Have questions about protecting your plants through the winter months? Want a treatment estimate? Give me a call.
This column first appeared in the Dec. 10, 2014 edition of the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest