Graf Growers

Overcome Weather Challenges in the Garden

How to Overcome Weather Challenges in the Garden

Lately, we have been experiencing a variety of weather patterns including high temperatures, storms and rainfall that is heavy at times. This combination can make it challenging for gardeners.

After storms, we find lots of tree limbs lying on the ground and plants stems falling over. Blooming perennials and hydrangeas are also sometimes laying over due to the weight of their flowers and the water. Even hanging baskets and container gardens can be disheveled and in need of trimming.

Here are a few tips on what you can do to make your garden look put back together again:

  • Don’t leave split stems on shrubs- cut them off
  • Cut back broken perennial stems to allow for new growth
    • Trim rose blooms that are spent. Take their stems back to a 5-leaf pairing. This will promote new growth.
  • If stems are bent, but not broken- stake them with plant props that have a ring at the top that holds the blossoms up
    • Make your props cool! Use stakes as a form of garden art- spray them fun colors or whatever else you can dream up!
  • Hanging baskets should have their stringy stems cut back and fertilized.
    • This will allow new growth to come in
    • Your plant will be looking fresher sooner than you know it
  • Make sure container gardens are draining well
  • Cut back any spillers or plants that trail over containers sides
    • Cut their leggy stems back to a pairing of leaves
      • Trim up whatever you feel most comfortable with- we normally suggest taking between 2-5 inches off
  • Clean geranium and dahlias that are spent
    • Take their individual bloom stem back to the middle of the plant- near where the plant meets the soil


Frequent rainfall and high humidity create favorable conditions for pest and disease issues. Take a walk through your landscape and garden to look for tell tale signs. The most common issue after a period of rainfall is holes in the leaves caused by slugs which can be easily treated with slug bait (we carry it in our store).


Diseases are a little different than insects because they must be suppressed rather than killed. Plants really benefit from good cultural practices including proper spacing and pruning to allow air movement through the plants. This will help reduce disease issues.

A few diseases you might keep an eye out for are:

  • leaf spot (looks like brown spots on the leaves)
  • powdery mildew (looks like a white film on the leaves). If treated right away you can avoid further damage to the plant.

If you are experiencing any of these issues or another problem with your landscape plants, bring a sample into our store for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment options include traditional and organic earth-friendly approaches.

Finally, on days when temperatures exceed 85°F, many container plants will dry out very quickly. This is especially true for hanging baskets. You may need to water them more frequently during periods of high temperatures. We recommend checking hanging baskets by the weight of the basket because some plants may wilt when the soil is moist If the basket is heavy, it is most likely well watered. Lightweight hanging baskets indicate the need for additional watering.

Despite the weather challenges, if you give your plants a little TLC, your garden will be looking great in time for picnics, parties and barbeques.

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