Wednesday, July 20, 2011

IT IS HOT! a garden story

It is hot - a real scorcher.  Central Kentucky is under heat advisory warnings from 11am today (Wednesday) until Saturday night.  Its not yet noon and 91 degrees with the humidity sky-rocketing.  I do hope a drought isn't to follow....and here's why.

Last year, we had an *extremely* wet spring , complete with flooding.  Praise God we had the drainage ditch re-dug before the rains hit or our yard would be non-existant.  The county even put a tile in to take the water across our drive (technically, a county road, but no one else lives on our side of it) so it can flow easily into the valley to the creek without taking all our gravel with it.  The creek rose, time and time again, and covered the bridge (only way out for us and about 6 other homes) for a few hours. 

Before the deluge, I did plant the garden (early April) .  While it has good drainage and nothing was lost, the plants got used to a wet ground.  I'm told this makes them less hardy, and it appears to be true.

Then the rains stopped coming and the sun heated up the earth.  And the plants got dry and we tried to water.  Then our well rain dry and we quit watering the plants...and quit flushing the toilets and everything else non-essential.  Then my DH came up with a plan, and used our new (to us) pick-up truck to hold HUGE tanks which he took to the city water plant and paid mere quarters to fill it up.  He had to get a larger hose to easily transfer the water, but it worked!  He made several trips one day to jump-start things, then weekly refills until the rains came again.  It was quite an experience and we learned a lot.

We learned that corn and tomatoes need more water than a seasonal drought provides, as do most other vegetables.  No surprise there.  We learned that cucumbers do GREAT no matter how much water they get. :)
I learned what potato bugs look like and how devastating they are to the plants...but if you dig up the potatoes before the leaves wither, you can still get some food out of them.  And Sevin works wonders, even though I do my best to limit the chemicals I use in the garden.

This year I tried to prepare for the worse.  The spring rains were earlier this year so I didn't plant until the worst was over, and did a bit of evening watering until regular rains starting coming again.  We are in the dry season again, but there have been plentiful thunderstorms to keep the ground wet enough.  I am really just hoping the heat wave doesn't bring the growth to a halt. The problems I have this year include some other strange beetle-type pest that Sevin sent away and tons of weeds. Thank goodness for landscaping material!  This is the first year I've tried using it and it did the trick, keeping growth down on weeds while seeds and young plants got a good head start.  Since I injured myself and can't do what's needed, the weeds still make it look like a jungle, but the plants don't seem to be suffering at all.  So far, so good!

I will try to edit this post soon and add pictures of last year versus this year.


  1. I have such a black thumb that I wouldn't even attempt a garden even if I had the land to do it. But what a wonderful education experience for all of you!!

  2. It's so hard to keep our tomatoes with the right amount of water. We have scorching days, then we have a few days of major rains. In theory, to keep tomatoes from splitting, you're suppose to water "evenly" but I can't when the weather isn't "even"

    Even so, I like growing things!

  3. Our tomatoes have actually been great this year - a few got scorched and the ones that laid on the ground rotted, but we have plenty of good ones! That's with no trellis, cage or anything, just floppy plants, LOL. I did water for 2-3 weeks after planting but have just let them go since.