September 2017

Hurricane Irma

   In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, we must first be thankful that we did not experience more damage than we did.  Yes, many of us lost power (and some of us still don't have it), maybe suffered some damage to homes, and certainly experienced much damage to trees and plants.  This is unfortunate, but it can all be repaired or replaced, and for that we are grateful.  Power was recently restored at SmartyPlants, and we want to take this opportunity to offer you a few tips regarding your plants.
    For trees that are down - it may be possible to replant them.  We suggest that you first trim them back a bit so they have less foliage to support.  Once trimmed, straighten them up and stake if necessary.  Water will make the biggest difference to the success of the process.  Sustained winds are very drying to plants, and although it rained during the hurricane, it certainly did not rain enough to saturate the soil.  Many, if not most of the leaves on plants and trees, will probably fall off in the next week or so if they haven't already.  This is normal, but water diligently for the next couple of weeks to rehydrate trees and help them to keep as many leaves as possible. 
    For trees that were damaged (e.g., limbs broken off) - with a sharp instrument, make a clean cut to trim off the part that was broken.  Again, water thoroughly to re-hydrate and reduce stress.
    For plants that were blown over and are dry and/or defoliated - consider salvaging them by trimming them back and watering them regularly.  Trim back in a roundy-moundy manner (like the picture below) and water, water, water.  How much to trim back depends on the plant and how much of it was damaged.  Certainly trim at least just past the damaged part.  Depending on the plant, you should see new growth in a matter of a week or two.   
    October is the month for the quarterly recommended fertilization, so once the plants are fully hydrated, a fertilizer application will certainly help them recover completely.  
    We are now open and fully operational.  If you have specific questions or concerns about your plants, stop by; we are here to help.  In preparation for the hurricane, we had moved all the shade-house plants into the building and laid down all the plants in the sun, so our plant stock is in pretty good shape. 
    Thank you for your business; we look forward to seeing you again soon as we all get back to normal life as we knew it just over a week ago.
We appreciate your continued support.

Marta Edwards and Paul Harding
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