It is the middle of July and we are preparing our September report for the newsletter.
June and July have been two very cloudy, rainy, cool months. Our planters and garden beds have taken a toll due to being extremely saturated with rainwater. The cloudy, cool days and nights have not provided enough heat or sun to promote much growth or blooms. The garden beds have been too wet to walk in for all the weeding and deadheading to take place. Some plants in our white rectangular planters suffered from root rot and had to be removed. We have some replacement plants but they will not be planted until the wet weather lets up and the soil starts to dry out. We need a week of heat and sun to give the plants the conditions to grow quickly. We still have the month of August to see our beds and planters fill out even more. We are hoping September will also be a warm month this year.
Edgemont is suffering along with all the other ELM communities with long grass and tall weeds. All this rain has provided perfect conditions for speedy weed and grass growth. The mowing crews cannot take the large mowers onto the heavily saturated grass as they can cause wheel damage to the turf and they may sink into the turf and have to be towed out. The crew has to be very selective on where they cut to avoid these areas. Wet slopes cause another safety issue. The machines slide down the slope and that makes for very unstable conditions. During our wet weather, the crew mowed wherever it was safe to do so. The long, heavy, wet grass also clumped up and at times left grassy mounds on the turf. These were unavoidable and will clear up when the turf is dry and normal mowing can take place.
ELM cannot use herbicides to control weeds. The City IPM Department is the only one that can apply herbicides. We apply to the City 311 number for any herbicide requests. Most of our parks have tot lots/playgrounds in them and the City does not use herbicides around these areas. They are also selective about when and where they use herbicides on sports fields.
Our contractor purchased a steam machine to provide weed control in mulch beds, rock beds, concrete/brick cracks, and around edges of garden beds. The steam machine requires dry weather to be effective so we have not been able to use it much up till now. Our contractor will continue to steam weeds as the weather improves. ELM wants to be as eco-friendly as possible.
The ELM team and contractor will start planning for the seasonal displays in August. Much of the seasonal - plantings have to be ordered by the end of August to be delivered on time for display preparations.
August and September is also the time frame for the ELM team and contractor to start planning for 2020. The plant orders go into the growers before the end of November so they can order the seeds required to start growing the plants.
Last year our winter started in September and we had a lot of plant loss after our first snowfall and frost. We are hoping mother -nature will spare us that event this year and allow our planters and beds to flourish in warm, sunny weather until at least the end of October.
Late September and October are when the contractor will prune and cut back our shrub -bushes. This is the best time as they have gone into dormancy and it avoids any damage to the health of the shrubs.
In closing, we are keeping our fingers crossed for warm, sunny weather to carry us through until October.
The ELM Team