This is the strongest El Niño on record, and with it comes above-average rains, and a change in predicted average temperatures. So what does this mean for your landscape? Well, with this wet winter, you can expect an abundance of weeds, and possibly in influx of plant diseases. Keep your eyes on your plant life, and don’t worry– it’s not all bad news.
El Niño and Heavy Rainfall
A wetter winter means more weed seeds germinating. More weed seeds germinating means—you guessed it—more weeds. These pesky sprouts are not your only problem, sorry to say. Plant disease and fungal issues simply love soggy weather conditions, so it’s important to pay attention to the plants you want to keep in your yard. If you catch it early, it might not be too late.
If that wasn’t enough, the coming months of heavy rain is going to do it darnedest to rid your soil of all its nutrients. Nitrogen is especially at risk, so keep your eyes on your vegetable garden for any sign of young leaves yellowing and/or dropping off.
The Bright Side
Experiencing an El Niño year isn’t all bad for your plants and grass. Years like this typically mean a milder hurricane season. Additionally, in the same way heavy rains strip nitrogen from the soil, they also flush out salts and lower pH levels. This especially helps plant and grass growth in environments that have high soil pH and high sodium levels. Where would one find an environment such as this, you ask? Arizona, for example. That’s right! If you live in Arizona, you can give this El Niño year a figurative high-five, because your lawn and garden might just end up looking better than ever at the end of this season.