Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

An early autumn?

Posted by: Mary Jane Smetanka under Trees Updated: September 4, 2012 - 11:34 AM

Suddenly my morning walks have become fall walks, with sidewalks covered with crispy brown leaves. It’s too early for this.
It’s not only because fall is approaching. While trees begin shutting down and drop their leaves in response to shortening days, much of what we’re seeing now is trees that are shedding their leaves in self-defense because of drought. Hanging onto those leaves just costs too much in precious moisture and carbohydrates as the tree heads into winter.

I’m also seeing perennials that are flat as pancakes for lack of water, and bushes with leaves that are hanging limp.
Drought could affect our autumn. Trees that are stressed often show dulled leaf colors in the fall. Here’s an interesting page from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

www.dnr.state.mn.us/young_naturalists/color/index.html


So keep watering. Perennials, trees and shrubs need it as we head toward winter. I’ll be watering my trees and shrubs right up until the ground freezes, as a protection against another dry winter.
Are you seeing signs of fall?
 

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