Summer of Drought

Early Morning

This past year has been the warmest and driest in my area in a century.  In fact, today I finally cut the grass for the first time in 4 weeks!   Most areas of grass really didn’t need mowing  (some spots had gone dormant) while only about 10%  needed a trim (in the shade of an apple tree).  Unbelievable!  I’ve never gone 4 weeks during the summer without needing to cut my grass!   One consolation was that my lawn tractor started right up since I fixed it a month ago ( read:  Lawn Tractor Repair).   I thought I’d have to rake up the cut grass since it had been so long in between cuts, but I didn’t.  I was hoping to have some “green manure” to add to my garden – darn.

My pond is down about 8 inches too, since I’ve been ‘spot watering’ some veggies with this water.

Canna Lillies LOVE heat

In mid-July, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority declared a Level 2 drought (that’s 2 of 3).  In the entire month of July we had only 12.7 mm (half an inch) of rain, smashing the previous driest July record of 35.6 mm (1.4 inches)  in 1931.  One official was quoted as saying that Ottawa was a biblical flood away from the 90.6-mm July average.”

In addition to our lack of rain, we’ve had 20 scorching-hot days with temperatures above 30C (86F) PLUS humidity which, at times, felt like the mid 40sC (113F).

Surprisingly, my winter squash seems to be fairing exceptionally well.  I’ve turned on the soaker hose (connected to a rain barrel) which weaves around the squash plants, only twice this summer.  But now that rain barrel is empty.  Even though I still don’t have any red tomatoes, my plants are doing fine with lots of green ones growing.   Potatoes, well we’ll see in a month or so when I dig some up.  Last year I was already eating garden potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchinis – but not this year.  I probably won’t be eating garden produced for another week or two.  Raspberries were sparse this year and their season was over almost as soon as it started.  But my new raspberry patch seems to be surviving.  And my apples that survived the killing frost in May that decimated the Apply Growing Industry,  are now suffering from heat and drought conditions and are dropping off the trees in record numbers.  So my apple harvest will be lower than usual as well.

Grass gone Dormant

I pulled the onions and garlic for replanting in the fall.  I will also replant some other veggies at the end of the month with the assumption that September will be cooler and have normal rainfall.  Am I just being perennially optimistic again?

I expect that I’ll pay more for winter storage vegetables this fall, like onions, potatoes, carrots, etc to make up the shortfall in my own garden.  I’ll be freezing every last tomato that I don’t use fresh, for use during the winter!

The sky is beginning to darken so I can only hope that we are getting some rain…….. a couple of days of nice steady rain would be nice.

Rain?????

 

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 09:26:11

    YIKES!!!… Bring on the rain!!…

    Reply

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