Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gardening in a drought

Dry and hot. That pretty much summarizes our summer.

Dry and warmer than normal. That summarizes last winter.

Somewhat dry. That summarizes last fall in our area.

Is it any surprise that we, and 75% of the country, are in a drought?

In our area, it's classified as severe drought; without rain, and soon, it'll only get worse.

Despite the drought, the garden still looks pretty good overall.

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' 

Most of my hemerocallis are done blooming, but 'Frans Hals' is still in bloom. Last year this late bloomer was blooming in August. We are ahead of schedule on the garden this year, due to our mild winter.

'Prairie Blue Eyes' 

Name unknown 

 David Austin rose 'Bishop's Castle'

Angel wing jasmine

I have been watering my gardens, but not the lawn. Initially I was watering once a week. I did a very thorough watering (30-40") to each area. However, two weeks ago I heard on the news that with our weeks of 90s to 100s, gardens needed to be watered three times a week. I immediately adjusted my watering schedule.

Then, on July 24th, our water facility announced a water restriction program. The restriction: everyone should reduce water use by 10%.  I'm accomodating this by being a little more careful in my garden watering.  I have stopped using the rotating sprinkler and instead I'm using a watering wand to direct the flow more precisely (instead of everywhere).  Instead of watering everything, I'm sticking my finger in the soil and checking if there is moisture present before watering. Did you know it is possible to overwater even in this heat, and that overwatering kills?

This epimedium could be an example of overwatering kills - but it's not dead yet. It just looked so wilty and brown-tinged that I kept giving it water. I then discovered that the soil it's living in was actually quite moist.

A crispy astilbe 


This heucherella is hurting. I know it needs moved, but the temps have been so hot I was afraid to risk it.

My cucumber is toast.


I fear the impatiens have seen their best days and are ready to go to the compost pile. 


You'd be wilting too if you were outside all day in temps up to 104 degrees.  This is a hydrangea, and it does not look wilty early in the day.


Milkweed tussock caterpillar - as far as I can tell, these guys do no harm other than skeletonizing the milkweed leaves. 


An interesting spider web

Many of you are also gardening in a drought. I pray for rain for all of the dry and thirsty land.

"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow."~Author Unknown

"Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart."~Karel Capek

Linking to Fertilizer Friday


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