Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I’m not going down without a fight! (Summer Drought)

Before I get started on this post, let me tell you about the pictures you will see.  This is my wildflower bed out by our gravel road.  It has major run off issues and is very dry.  But I am pleased with the plants used there, mostly natives that are very drought resistant.  But even these types of flowers, it has been quite a time in my garden…. Here is why….

Here we are on the first day of summer and I swear it should be fall by now.  Honestly, we had tank-top weather in March and it has been so darn hot for weeks.  Of course when this all started in March it was fantastic.  Who wouldn’t love long sunny days in the garden?  I was weeks ahead of schedule in my garden clean up.
When the bulbs started coming up 6-8 weeks early it was perplexing.  Then the new growth began just as quick and we were in awe.  But to have that many weeks of warm, so fast, so early…  It just wasn’t right.  But it was mild and enjoyable to work in. 

I took many lovely photos of my garden in April and May.  At times I commented it looked the best I had ever seen it.  I made plans for several garden groups to tour here, to give demonstrations, to be featured in publications here locally and online.  It was all good….  Then in late May the rain stopped.
And it has not hardly been back to my garden since.  It was in the paper this week that our area is now one of four counties in Indiana declared in Severe Drought.  As you can see in the map below, my area is the orange at the bottom of the state.  We are about 9-10 inches below normal last I heard. 
So it goes without saying, my grass is gone.  I am not going to waste a picture on it.  All that is green are the weeds.  We mow much too much yard, having almost 7 acres, my husband mows much of it.  But we have not started the tractor for three weeks.  Oh it will all come back, but it looks absolutely horrid for the meantime.

But the things that bother me so are the bugs.  Spider mites for one.  With no natural rain to wash their webs and deter them, they have had a hay-day in my garden.  Oh not everything is affected, but enough for me to start into battle mode.  I have sprayed my roses and if anything starts to loose its leaves or wilt, it will be treated as well.  But mainly I have been fighting this battle with the garden hose.
You see I am not one of those gardeners that lets it all go to pot when it gets hot and dry.  I work too darn hard and have invested way too much to loose plants, even if just for a season.  Maybe you think it is a never going to win battle, but I am in for the fight of my life. 
I am not saying my garden looks as pretty as if we received natural rains, but I am diligent about watering and checking my moisture levels.  I will tell you that once a week is not enough.  When the air is this dry and temperatures are in the mid-90’s the stress alone could kill some young plants.  I am not saying I will not loose anything to this weather, but I am darn sure trying with all my might not to. 
So what about you?  Do you have your battle waged?  Or are you one of the luck ones that haven’t experienced this?  I felt so sorry for my garden friends in Texas last summer, but now I understand maybe a bit better.  But here is my final thought…. I can’t fight wind, ice, extreme cold or floods.  But I have the time and the energy to drag the hose around, and I’ll be doing quite the happy dance once I can roll them up and watch it rain from my porch swing again.  You’ll probably hear me at your house… 
I read a quote one time saying “the best fertilizer is the gardeners shadow”  Truer words have never been said.   Stick with it gardeners, it will be worth it, I promise.

-Brooke Kroeger-
My Garden Blog :  Creative Country Mom's Garden
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I'm a mom to two beautiful girls, a happy wife, a farmers daughter, an avid gardener and decorator of all things I can find! This is a place to share my projects and a bit about my life in a small Midwest town.  My garden is a big part of my life.  I am a freelance nature photographer and garden writer.  I also do garden education and lectures.  You can see my home and garden on my blog, Creative Country Mom.  I also host a garden group on Facebook called WebGarden.  You can also find me on Pinterest and Twitter.


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