Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears? No Way!

It's HEAT (106 or 109 degrees F today, depending on who you talk to), and DROUGHT, and STRESS - Yes, Way!

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!



Jodi DeLong said...

Oh, my dear. I am so sad for all of you in this parched summer. I'd send rain if I could, or even some of our Fundy fog but even that is in short supply here this summer. Please don't feel guilty for wanting rain...we are all worrying about the farmers too, so there's room for you to want rain. Sending hugs from across the continent...

Larry said...

Tis a bad year indeed... I water constantly... it's times like these that make me wish my gardens were much smaller! Wisconsin has been getting rain in a number of places... this not one of them I'm afraid... Larry

Ruth said...

Why don't you put down drip irrigation? It really easy to do alone, saves water, and you don't have to spend hours hauling...
We always have a long dry summer, and don't expect any rain till November, (October if we are very lucky) I will still join you in your prayers for rain, and lots of it.

gwenniesgarden said...

I am so sorry to hear about the drought you are having. We are having the opposite problem, no sun and a lot of rain so everything is rotting away. Our farmers too have problems and they expect the food to become a lot more expensive. I whish we coud exchange sun and rain so we all had enough of what we need, alas nature doesn't work that way. I really hope you'll get some rain soon !!!

Beth said...

Very sad! We are in central Iowa and it's also drought-stricken. I keep watering as best I can, given thoughts of the water bills to come, as well as the water restriction we now have. Loved those photos of your garden from before. So sorry to see a gardener losing plants!

Shady Gardener said...

Thank you for your commiseration, friends. I know everyone is having problems again this year!

I do have drip irrigation in one good-sized bed. Automatic sprinkling over the largest bed is the best way - done in two shifts. The others get by either rotating sprinklers or the automatic back-n-forth... I only haul 5 gallon buckets to the trees and shrubs. :-)

I should take a peek at the meter, as I'll be paying a bill in a week or so!

But we received 3/4" of rain last night!!! So grateful!!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I am also starting to feel guilty about watering, knowing that we are in a drought. Our food prices are going to be going up due to the farmers not being able to harvest as much.

I hope you get some perking up from the rain you had.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Sue, things have perked up... but it's to be hot again. Of course, we're entering August. :-) Hope you're getting a little rain, too.