Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dry weather

A tremendous thunderstorm in the North Carolina mountains last night was a surprise. It wasn't in the forecast, but the rain was welcome there. June was dry in the Piedmont and mountains, and the lush spring green is starting to look crispy around the edges.

The mountains are doing better than we are in the Piedmont, however; we haven't had any rain here for about 3 weeks, with temperatures well over 90°F for some of that time. Coming down the Blue Ridge Escarpment towards home today, I was wondering how my vegetable garden had fared.

Happily, the tomato and pepper seedlings in flats in the shade were fine, thanks to a friend checking on them yesterday on a 'emergency' basis, and everything was OK, although dry. The brutal drought years of the last decade (and especially the last three years) have made me wary of planting anything that's not drought-tolerant, and able to withstand hot, dry weather without visible stress.

But, now even the deep-rooted meadow plants are looking droopy in the afternoon, especially the ones planted last year. They're in full direct sun from late morning until early evening -- a tough site, to be sure.

7 comments:

  1. I feel your pain. It was June 12 when we received our last recordable rainfall. I'm trying not to water, but the tomatoes are worth the effort. The flowers can survive or die. They all look great in the morning though.

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  2. i hear you too...we have been in extreme drought conditions for awhile now. we've had 2 days of rain all month that resulted in less than an inch. thank the gods today it rained over an inch but we'll be back up to 101 and above in a couple days...i'm hand watering everything and not looking forward to my water bill...

    hope more rain comes your way....and your's too tom!

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  3. Tom-
    The vegetables are such waterhogs compared to native perennials. They're what I had to run around and water getting back home, not the native wildflowers! But, it seems like we really have to water vegetables if we want to harvest anything worthwhile, although we can 'train' them to have deeper roots.

    Like you, I do try to water deeply only when absolutely necessary.

    Lisa

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  4. We had a good light and sound show tonight, but no rain...we could really use it.

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  5. It hasn't been easy trying to plant perennials that can tolerate the heat and drought in the summer and the wet soggy soil during the winter! I do grow natives that thrive in cedar glades...

    I hope rain comes your way soon, oh, and we could use a little, too. gail

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  6. Wow, it hasn't stopped raining in New England for a month and a half. I think it has literally rained 27 of the last 30 days or something like that.

    Our gardens are drowning and can't wait to see the sun! Perhaps this weekend, but right now it is pouring.

    Very, vry unusual weather pattern for this part of the country.

    Bill;www.wildramblings.xom

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  7. Yes, I'm beginning to have flashbacks of the 2007 drought. Though I continue to be amazed at how the native perennials stand the heat. My garden of monarda, coneflower, rudbeckia, etc. so far is blooming like crazy and not wilting ... They're in part sun, which probably helps. But the new plants are requiring a lot of attention. One thing about rainbarrels - they don't help much when they're empty!

    Sheila

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