I've avoided posting views of my garden this summer that show how dry everything is. Today, however, I'm facing the dryness, showing the dryness, writing about the dryness, embracing the dryness. I'm allowed one post about the dryness, aren't I?
As you can see, I don't believe in coddling plants with all kinds of extra watering. This bed should be full and lush right now. There are Michaelmas daisies growing there that should be twice as tall as they are. There are coneflowers that should not be all wilted and spent. That honey locust tree at the end of the flower bed should not be dropping its leaves already. Only the sedum seems to be happy.
I am going to go out and "garden" tomorrow, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do.
Weed? I won't get too many roots, but it would probably improve the looks of things a bit even to chop off the foliage of the weeds.
Prune? There are still some shrubs that I normally like to prune back a bit in mid-summer, but I held off because I didn't want to put the plants under even more stress by pruning them when it was so dry out. I kept waiting for a time when it was going to rain. That time has so far not come. Now I think it is getting a bit too late for summer pruning. Oh, well, I can prune next summer.
Deadhead? Yes, I could cut back some of the spent, dried up flowers. There aren't many because of the drought, but that should help.
Harvest? There are some squash, tomatoes, and peppers I can pick and morning is a much better time to harvest than evenings after work. There are also some squash vines, bean plants, and corn stalks that I could clean up and throw into the compost bin because they've given in to the dryness and will produce no more. Oh, and don't forget, I have grapes to pick!
Mulch? I could go to the mulch store and get a load of mulch. There are areas that could use some extra mulch now. And since I have a truck, I can go to the mulch store for a cubic yard of mulch whenever I get the urge to do so. I might get the urge to do that tomorrow.
Dig a new flower bed? I'd need a jack hammer to dig right now it is so dry.
Water? Is that really going to do that much good at this point? And it is so boring to water by hand.
Rain Dance? Rain dances haven't helped so far, but I'm sure the neighbors have been entertained by my attempts. I might have to explore more advanced methods to get it to rain.
Droughts disrupt the normal rhythm of the garden. They are jarring to the plants, confusing for the gardener. We haven't had a drought like this for at least twenty years. If we don't get some rain soon, my garden chore options will be reduced to one choice: planning for next year.
Because you know what? Next year I can't imagine it being this dry again! Fall will be here soon, then winter, then it will be spring and the garden will be all new again and we can forget about this drought!
Tomorrow, I'm heading out to face the dryness, to conquer the drought!