It has become a common theme over the last three weeks that the lack of precipitation for our area is starting show on many plants and tree do to drought stress.

Bob Coward, the co-host of the Garden Show on WBCK, talked about how the drought monitor for Michigan may not be entirely correct. While working on several projects over the past week, Bob said that the soil is almost a thin dust there needs to be a large turnaround to avoid severe drought conditions. If you see the map below from the U.S. Drought Monitor, the only improvement from moderate to abnormal drought (brown to yellow) were in areas that saw precipitation over the past week - the Northern Lower Peninsula and the southern border counties of Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe in the Southeast region. On top of that, the Battle Creek area has received just .41 inches of rain (not even a half-inch) through May 16th, well behind the 4.42 inches of rain in the month of May based on the last 25 years.

The Michigan Drought Monitor as of Thursday, May 13, 2021. (David Simeral - Western Regional Climate Center)
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Bob and I pushed this hard during last week's show and we will again this week - WATER IS OUR FRIEND. Especially now that the growing season has kicked into high gear with warmer conditions, water early in the morning and later in the evening will help young trees and blooming plants thrive. Another thought - anything that is in ground right now needs the most water. If you think you have watered enough, you truly have not. Most plants need up to an inch-and-a-half of precipitation a week.

The forecast leading up to Memorial Day weekend shows that we could get significant rain before the end of the month, but expect above-normal temperatures to continue. This week's 70s and 80s for daytime highs are expected to continue. Here are the maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 8-to-14 day forecasts.

The 8-to-14 day temperature and precipitation forecast, covering May 24-30, 2021. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

With a look back at Saturday's Garden Show, the update is below. We covered gypsy moths, needlecast and something that Bob calls "lawnmower blight".

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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