Summer isn’t going to end in spite of Labor Day’s arrival

I can hear the northerly breeze rushing through the screens this morning. The sound of the air passing through the tiny mesh is distinctive and has a fall-like sound. We all know what’s coming in the next few months, and even if the winter isn’t as bad as last year, which it won’t be, it will still be cold, and there’s always some snow.

Signs of fall
Labor Day weekend has a lot of psychological energy tied to it. Somehow everything seems to just feel different on the Tuesday after the holiday. Even with the upcoming heat, it won’t seem the same as it would have just a few weeks earlier. The addition of the yellow school buses on the roads, and the kids standing at the end of the driveways waiting for them, changes the look of our surroundings.

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A splash or two of color on a sugar maple or the ragweed blowing in the breeze doesn’t represent the colors of July. The light is also different, we awaken in the dark and the shadows being cast on the landscape are longer and point in different directions than when we anticipated watching fireworks two months ago.

The time to do outdoor chores after work has shrunk, and the sun has set by the time we have cleared the table from dinner. Over the next month we will lose more daylight and more average temperature than at any other time of the year. There’s a new season arriving, and it’s on our doorstep.

Is summer your favorite season?
You might have just read that and thought I am being “Debbie Downer,” but for many of us summer isn’t our favorite season. I love the early morning light of late spring and summer, but I don’t enjoy the heat or the humidity, so when it finally does end I’m OK with it. The heat of summer saps my energy and stresses out my plants. The added time to water every pot and dry corner of the garden just means I won’t be able to accomplish other things. I love the beach in summer, but only before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m. in the afternoon. I think my Maine bloodline just doesn’t do as well in heat as it does in the cold.

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Beachy forecast
For those of you not ready to hang up the beach umbrella or put out your pumpkin just yet there is good, even great, news ahead. The stretch of weather we are about to enjoy will go down in the record books as basically a flawless Labor Day weekend and several days thereafter. Today is the coolest we’ll see for at least the next seven days, and from this point forward it’s all uphill with regard to temperature and eventually humidity.

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You won’t notice the moisture in the air for several days, and this means good sleeping nights through Monday morning, but it becomes more difficult after that. Eventually, the humidity will become oppressive again, especially by the middle of next week. Further into the future a cold front will again clear the area and bring a change of air mass preceded by some showers.

Drought is back

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A final note, if you are starting a new lawn, planting trees, shrubs or other material, watering all of it will be your biggest challenge. The earth has dried out again, and we are back in a short-term drought. With few exceptions, you should water the soil well before you plant and again afterwards. This will help your new plantings become better established and increase the chance they survive the upcoming winter.

Have a great weekend.

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