We finally received some rain last week, but it has brought out some of the worst weeds that can be almost impossible to knock out.

Bob Coward, co-host of the Garden Show on WBCK, told listeners on June 19th that the invasive weeds are starting to take over in some areas. He snapped this pic of a giant hogweed that was about ready to bloom at Historic Bridge Park in Emmett Township. With its thick red stalk, it is noticeable and obnoxious. The worst part - they thrive in very wet areas. Since the area that this was found is in swampy marsh, it make take a little bit more to rid the invasive weed.

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Speaking of invasive weeds, Bob Coward and I are inching closer to the second celebration (and continued push) for Poison Ivy Awareness Week. We started it last year in an effort to educate the public about the ways poison ivy can infiltrate areas where we garden, camp and play. Check out last year's article to help identify poison ivy, how to treat it if you get exposed and how to remediate it from the area that you find it in.

As for the weather, the rain over the last few days was a vast improvement of what we have seen since the beginning of spring. The drought monitor has shown that the whole state is in a world of hurt for precipitation. The National Drought Mitigation Center is reporting that Michigan is in 93-percent drought for the second consecutive week (see below). The moderate drought status (in orange) has now engulfed the Central Lower Peninsula, placing Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Barry, Eaton and Ingham counties in moderate drought. The northwest corner of Jackson and Hillsdale, along with northern Branch and St. Joseph counties, are also orange.

The Michigan Drought Monitor as of June 17, 2021. (Curtis Reganti - National Drought Mitigation Center)

As we head into July, the weather is set to vastly improve. The 8-to-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook is looking favorable for pleasantly average temps (around 78 degrees based on 25 years) and above normal precipitation. It still won't get us out of drought, but it will allow an opportunity to catch up on what we have missed since last November. Depending on where you live in the Battle Creek area, you could have received anywhere between 1 1/2-to-2 inches of rain between June 18th and June 20th. Areas of Kalamazoo received just north of three inches of rain with a few spots of four inches.

The 8-to-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook, spanning June 28 through July 4, 2021. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Be sure to tune in to the Garden Show every Saturday during the spring and summer months on 95.3 WBCK. Call 269-441-9595 with your gardening question, email co-host Nathan Adams or join us through the App Chat function on the WBCK app.

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