Overcoming Garden Trauma—Where Do We Go From Here?

With Spring not too far around the corner, I’ve realized that I better come up with some type of plan to rehabilitate our yard.

Last summer, my little section of Louisiana experienced both record heat and drought. It rained only a handful of times for five months, and even when it did rain, it felt more like the sky was spitting on us than actual precipitation. We had more consecutive days of 100+ degree temperatures than at any other time in history, many of those days reaching 110 degrees, if not more. As a result, huge sections of our grass died completely, or were overrun by weeds that could probably survive an apocalypse. We also lost several azaleas, and many other plants that were significant to our landscaping. Our raised-bed vegetable garden was hit and miss, with the exception of a bumper jalapeno crop. Go figure.

My husband tried to water everything as much as he could, to the point that our water bill rivaled our electricity bill for which would be the biggest budget-killer. By the end of the summer, we admitted defeat and hoped for better luck next year. Consequently, our yard is a wreck, and our gardening enthusiasm is at an all-time low.

I know I’ll have to replace the azaleas and other landscaping plants, but I am clueless what to do about the lawn. Should we reseed the dead sections? Weed-and-Feed what’s left and hope for the best? We also are having the mildest winter in years, so does this mean that summer will be as bad, if not worse than last year? How can I heal my balding lawn and help it thrive?

I am still an abject gardening novice, not to mention inexcusably lazy when 100-degree heat is involved. However, if I don’t get my butt in gear and come up with a plan, our home is going to be a whole lot more scraggly-looking come Fall.

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