Drought stress

Where have all the flowers gone? During this time of drought, many flowers have not produced their typical amount of blooms. Watering is very important during the hot, dry days of August to prevent drought stress to plants.

Other ways to help your flowering plants include deadheading spent blooms. This is the process of removing the old flowers to prevent seed formation. This allows the plant to put its energy resources into overall plant health during dry weather. Annual plants also benefit from deadheading, and the saved energy from not making seed will go to forming new blooms.

Weeds seem to be the only plants that appear to be thriving in our dry lawns and gardens. Many gardeners have stated they have had to mow their lawns, not to trim the grass, but to cut down the weeds. If this is the case in your yard, be sure to raise your mower blade height to prevent cutting the grass during times when moisture is lacking. Using a sharp mower blade will also help to reduce stress on lawns.

Some weeds can actually be considered beneficial, as food source for bees. But in the yard and garden, weeds contribute a negative impact on desired plants and turf health.

Did you know? Weeds are considered to be any plant that is growing out of place. But overall, weeds are those plants that are competitive, persistent, and pernicious. As weeds produce an abundant amount of seeds, clean up yards and gardens to prevent weeds from forming seeds to prevent further problems next year. Weeds can also harbor disease and insect pests, so arm yourself, put on your gloves and go to battle!

Questions? Contact McCormick at yvonne@iastate.edu for information or advice.