The weather has proven crazy yet again this fall with precipitation at or below record lows across Minnesota and the metro.
Where we are.
More than 50% of MN is experiencing Extreme or Moderate drought. However, this isn’t the whole story.
For the summer, the metro is right around normal precipitation levels.
Then the shoe drops.
Since August 1, the metro area is seeing 5″ to 8″ deficits on rain. So the hot, dry weather we have experienced the end of summer and fall has had significant impact on our soil conditions. Most topsoil is considered dry – very dry.
What does this mean to you?
The biggest impact right now is on vulnerable, newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. All new trees – especially evergreens – should be watered until the soil freezes solid.
The price will vary but should be between $30 and $75 per week to water a couple of trees on a property. Call me if they are asking more. Also, if you have a guarantee on any plant material, make sure the installer is watering them at no charge. You don’t want to lose an entire growing season.
Here’s what you need to ask for (copy and paste into an email if you’d like or simply forward it):
—begin email copy—
Please provide a price for the following:
- After irrigation is shut down, install a 20 gallon (green) tree gator on deciduous trees planted in 2012 on all properties
- After irrigation is shut down, install a 15 gallon (brown) tree gator on evergreen trees planted in 2011 or 2012 on all properties
- Fill tree gators completely one time each week unless property receives 1″ or more of rain
- Cease watering and remove tree gator when ground is frozen solid
—end email copy—
If you have cheap access to other methods of watering (engineers, porters, etc.) water all new shrubs and perennials as well. Even though they are going dormant and don’t have leaves, the roots are still actively growing and need moisture to maintain their strength for next year.