A Bittersweet End to the 2018 Outdoor Gardening Season

It’s been a wet one hasn’t it! Record rainfall levels and days upon days of lingering results. Since spring we have battled powdery mildew and fungus levels to beat the band, phytophthora (root rot), wilt, stunting, chlorosis, soil pH disruption, any number of nutrient deficiencies, and rates of infectious diseases that we haven’t seen in years such as the tomato blight and potato disease — none of which had a silver bullet to cure since it was fixed and offended weekly.

That’s the bitter of it. The sweet of it “Well done you for your perseverance!” So many of you have visited us in Diagnostics this year to fetter out what the offenders were in your garden. We were happiest to see all the demands for soil test kits and requests for advice on nutrients, So many of you already knew that the secret was already in your sacred soil.

That’s really the take-away from gardening this year; the relationship between you and the health of that bit of earth you call your own is the divining rod between the bitter and the sweet. As a steward of your land, do you know how to work with the clay or the sand, or the extreme combinations them? What plants are drought tolerant and what plants can survive knee deep in water? Is there something that can do all of that? The right plant in the right place has to include the soil type. The right place does not only include an aesthetic or sun level evaluation. Soil type is absolutely a chief factor.

For those of you who don’t have this test, here it is: Click here for test

Study your seed catalogs, look at this year’s Chelsea and Hampton Court Garden Show Winners, look at new plant introductions and make your wish lists. Fresh start for 2019 for all of us, armed with our successes and our failures and the unwavering gardeners hope that we’ll do even better next go round.

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