By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
I cannot believe it is already September and we are getting ready for the fall. The phone is ringing off the hook with people trying to have projects done by the end of the season. It has been an extremely busy season, and it looks like it is going to end with a bang.
We will be talking about the 2020 season for a long time. It will be one for the record books. We started the year early with lots of rain and lush green lawns, where everyone wanted to work in their yards or have work done to their yards. Then the summer turned hot, humid, and dry. We experienced hailstorms, which devastated many gardens and farms. Then we dealt with the effect of the hurricane with high winds and heavy rain. Too much rain, too quickly, did not help the drought situation. Many lawns will not survive. However, the work continues to come in.
Now the days are getting shorter, it is more difficult to get the work done. This time of year, the weather can be unpredictable. It might rain every other day and be extremely windy the next. I hope Mother Nature is kind to us this fall. Despite everything, we stand strong! We are doing the best we can with the manpower and materials we have available to us.
As for myself, it was a particularly challenging year for my hanging baskets. You would think as a landscaper for over 35 years, I would not have a problem. I have several baskets and pots around the pool. Yes, of course they are irrigated! So, water was not the problem. It was the fertilizer. Well, not really the fertilizer, the fact that I was over fertilizing them. We carry a great water-soluble fertilizer for annuals from Plant Marvel and it was recommended by a coworker. Many growers use this product. So, I bought a bag home and mixed up a 15-gallon batch. I told Pam our baskets were going to look great this year. Wrong! Well, that is where the problem started, as I misread the label and added three pounds of fertilizer to the 15 gallons of water. It was supposed to be 1 tablespoon per gallon, so there lies the problem, I put almost three times the recommend amount. After about three weeks of fertilizing, once a week, they started to lose the flowers and started to turn brown. So, I called my coworker to explain the situation and he said, “you’re killing them.” He goes on to tell me that I mixed way too much fertilizer and to stop putting fertilizer for three weeks. He said I needed to flush the fertilizer out of the pots. Awesome! They started on the road to recovery. The hangers began to bloom again and were looking great!
While this was all happening, Pam started experimenting with vegetables in pots. She took care of her own plants. I was not allowed to touch them. They looked great! Then Mother Nature kicked me square in the butt with a hailstorm in North Nashua. Not only did the hail beat the crap out of tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants, but it also wiped out all the blooms on my hangers. So, if someone would like healthy hanging baskets with NO flowers, let me know. They are all yours. Well, I guess there is always next year. I want to thank Tom for setting me straight on the mix. Next time I will wear my cheaters to read the label. LMAO
Now back to the NHLA Board. It has been a new experience meeting by Zoom. It is not the same as meeting face-to-face. We are trying to set up a few educational events this fall; however, we are running into issues at every turn. We are planning on a month-to-month basis. We hopefully will have a September or October Twilight Meeting.
We are already talking about events for 2021. My New Year’s resolution is to get back to a “normal” life and back to educating our membership. We are trying to make sure to follow the CDC guidelines to keep everyone safe. The Education Committee is working hard to make sure we have events planned for both January and March.
Remember, this your Association! We need to hear from you about topics for your education. Have a great month! I hope I gave you a little laugh.
“Laughter is the best medicine in the world.” — Milton Berle