When normal isn’t normal

You may have read in the news earlier in May that NOAA has updated their “normals” for temperature and precipitation at stations around the country. In climatology, normals are the calculated averages over a specified time period. Usually, we use a 30-year period to capture what the average weather is like in a time period … Continue reading When normal isn’t normal

Landscape Fabric Strikes Again–Oh the Horror!

I have a very interesting research project on the effects of urban pressure on Coast Live Oak (CLO). CLO is a California native oak and I am interested in seeing if urban cultural conditions prevent the development of mycorrhizal fungi on their roots.  My study is blocked, that means that all the treatments occur in … Continue reading Landscape Fabric Strikes Again–Oh the Horror!

Frosts and freezes: As cold as ice…

Here in the Southeast we were surprised last week by a much earlier than usual freeze, putting an end to many gardens full of tender plants, although the cold was not deep enough to kill more cold-hardy species. In many parts of the region the frost came earlier than the 10% probability of frost indicating … Continue reading Frosts and freezes: As cold as ice…

Understanding how weird weather affects our plants

I’d intended to write the column earlier in the year, but it’s as relevant now as it was in the spring. This post will familiarize you with how unseasonable weather can affect your plants. Though I’ll be focusing on my own location in Tacoma, the phenomena are global. You just have to pay attention to … Continue reading Understanding how weird weather affects our plants

The 2022 Tropical Season: It’s Alive!

In my last blog post in early August, I noted how quiet the Atlantic tropical season has been so far this year. In fact, the period from early July through this week has been one of the quietest on record, with no named storms since the short-lived Tropical Storm Colin formed along the South Carolina … Continue reading The 2022 Tropical Season: It’s Alive!

The 2022 Tropical Season: What are Tropical Systems?

In the Southeast, almost nothing gets more press than the Atlantic Tropical Season, including the outlooks, real-time events, and post-storm analyses. If you live in another part of the United States or the world, you may not be as directly affected as the Southeast is, but you might be surprised at how far and wide … Continue reading The 2022 Tropical Season: What are Tropical Systems?

*Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

If you listen closely you can hear the beasties in your garden just a-singin’ that tune. And who can blame them? Warm temperatures and lush green gardens? They enjoy them as much as we do. But sometimes they can be enjoying our landscape a little too much. So now what do you do? Visit the … Continue reading *Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

Monitoring and reporting on drought conditions

While drought is part of the natural cycle of the climate and many native plants depend on drought to propagate, it is the bane of gardeners everywhere because of the increased need for water. I have previously written about the four types of drought. Today I thought I would focus on drought monitoring and a … Continue reading Monitoring and reporting on drought conditions

Burlap, the fashion fabric of the gardening world.

Cheap, lightweight and easy to manipulate, burlap has become a popular way to protect transported B&B trees from the nursery to their planting site. To add justification for its use it’s also touted as biodegradable. “No need to remove it!” or “Leave it in place to protect the root ball.” and other such phrases are … Continue reading Burlap, the fashion fabric of the gardening world.