And it's not pretty. Beginning with August 2011, we received Very little rain - true drought conditions in this little part of SE Iowa. With our mild winter and lack of precipitation (3 light snowfalls), we entered into Spring 2012 severely behind in ground moisture.
We haven't had more than 3/8" of rain during the past 4 weeks! And very little before that. We've been watering, and watering, and watering. I'm happy that I have 3 rain barrels. Three times they've been full and I've been able to use the 150 gallons nicely. But when it doesn't rain, I water a LOT... and I'm not sure I can continue. It's still only July.
Traditionally, the heat index waits to hit the high 90's to an occasional 100 degrees F (1-3 times at most?) during August. Whew!! We've been in an oven and I'm about ready to try that egg on the sidewalk soon!! (I cannot begin the count the number of times we've been in the high 90's and 100's during June and July! We even had a week of 90 degree F weather in March!!)
Everything has taken a hit, but the Raised Beds began Spring 2012 minus a few special plants...
July 26, 2009
Left forefront: Obedient Plant; behind: Rudbeckia; behind: Phlox;
right center: 'Jacob Cline' Monarda; behind: white platycondon (balloon flower)
July 21, 2011
before last year's drought...
July 25, 2012
Here's the hardest hit area of my gardens...
but believe me, everything is suffering!
Phlox bed in the background with the rudbeckia bed on the left.
The forefront, left to right, shows a sad daylily, the balloon flower, the chelone (turtle head).
A person can only haul, sprinkle and hose water over only so long a period of time
before some choices must be made...
If it would only rain.
And here's where the guilt sets in: Yes, I need rain. But the farmers... oh, those farmers that produce so much food... need it so very much more!