We have spreading phlox and it's looked wonderful and been doing fine generally. (Picture is from 2 springs ago.) But this year it's dying out in places and generally looks pitiful. Is there something we should be doing to culture this. Like cut it back severely? More water? A specific fertilizer regimen?
Yes, our garden is terraced. 4 levels in this "hole in the woods."
From time to time I post a new set of garden pictures at http://www.jkshirey.us . I'm afraid I'm not very regular about it, but I do like to record the seasons at "our estate." We're very blessed to have about 5 acres in Apex, NC - where civilization has encroached and we're now living in an oasis. This week I'll release 18 young ducks onto our small pond - another source of non-stop entertainment!
jshirey, I'm in the Midlands of SC so we're a tad warmer than you are, but this year my neighborhood has really been affected by what I'm assuming is grub damage. Although the Centipede grass everyone grows isn't a lush grass, it's at least green once it comes out of dormancy in early Spring. This year, though, there are dead areas in the turf which seems to be from grub damage.
Could grubs be affecting your groundcover Phlox? When I asked one of the lawn guys working on a neighbor's yard recently about grubs, he said he felt it was due to our warmer than usual Winter.
Since my earlier post, I've spotted a vole (probably responsible for the no-show on my Asiatic lilies!). Blasted rodents eat plant material by devouring the roots. We've had moles, but after stomping on the tunnels, I actually thought they had begun to leave us alone.
This is the first year in several that I haven't grown castor bean plants. I will definitely plant them for next summer! I sincerely hope voles are not eating your Phlox, but you'd know because the tunnels are obvious.