Rain Dancing Anyone?

If you have been following my blog for awhile you will understand that the weather is such an important factor in the success or failure of a gardening season. We are heading into our 48th day of no measureable rainful for this growing season. Add to that temperatures in the triple digits and you have a formula for disaster. Most of the farmers around here are searching out other sources of feed for their cattle and turning what is left of their fields into silage. The silage, however, does not fulfill all the nutrients that are needed in order to sustain the cattle this year. Farmers are networking with neighboring states just to get enough feed for this season. We are not used to droughts and have no “plan B” on board – such as irrigation systems.

My gardens have been watered on a regular basis to keep the tender seedlings from wilting under the sheer heat of the afternoon sun. The cucumbers are loving this heat and my tomatoes are doing well also. The dill that was planted for fall pickling is struggling and so I must shield it from the sun a few hours each day.

Early morning waterings at about 5-6 a.m. seem to work the best. I don’t water in the evenings because the combination of high humidity and cooler temperatures at night seems to initiate a growing frenzy for fungus.

After suffering through both black spot and an onslaught of aphids, my roses seem to have perked up lately and are now deserving of their given name of the “Knock Out” rose. I used a good dousing of Bayer brand herbicide/insecticide. Beautiful bright red and deep pink blooms are covering the plants and it is a welcome sight. With 5 acres of land, there is no way to water the lawns, so I treat myself to a garden tour as my feet crunch over the brown, dead grass on the way.

As our US Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Vilsack, has said. “If I could do a rain dance – I would.”

Please start practicing Mr. Secretary !!

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