Watch for the switch! The Milwaukee area has a consistent climate of wet springs and dry summers that leads to incubates fungal problems and mosquitoes in the spring and drought damage in the summer as the mercury rises. This spring’s showers stretched on much longer than what we’ve seen in years past and helped rebuild a water backlog. The moisture and frequent rains make it possible for fungi that rely on water to transport spores to infect more leaves on plants and make it challenging for us to find dry days to apply protective fungicide sprays.
Mosquitoes benefit from the rains too, laying eggs in puddles of standing water everywhere. This year, we are continuing our hugely successful mosquito sprays in response to the customer feedback we’ve received. Most customers have reported immediate results and virtually mosquito-free backyards for up to 30 days.
Watching for the Drought
Here in Milwaukee, though, the rains can dry up just as quickly as they appeared. It’s critical to watch drought-sensitive plants such as annuals and turf that will wilt and dry out after just a couple of days without rain. Mature trees are also impacted but are slower to show signs of stress. Before your trees start to decline, be sure that your landscape is receiving approximately and inch of water via rain or watering per week. If you need any help with watering, our landscape maintenance crews are happy to set up sprinklers, water by hand, or bring water by the truckload.
Milwaukee Precipitation Running Surplus/Deficit
From the National Weather Service’s climate records for Milwaukee.
The graph illustrates how Milwaukee was consistently deficient 10-12 inches of precipitation from 2005-2007 but has caught up easily in the last two years. While this has little or no impact on irrigated properties or annual plants, mature trees and forests are profoundly impacted by the availability of water from precipitation.