“This year is going to be different”, I thought to myself as I put in my tomato plants a month earlier than normal. Yeah, it was different alright. The last nine years we haven’t had a significant rain in July or August. This year we went nearly 90 days with only a quarter inch of rain. It’s not like it wasn’t in the forecast. We found ourselves glued to the radar many times as it passed north, east, south or west of us. Sometimes it would split or fizzle out just as it got near. I know it’s been nine years because we had our apple tree trimmed that year and I haven’t had to shovel apples in the fall in that long.
Indiana Drought map
Check out this picture of Morse Reservoir in this article from NBC.
I really miss the smell after a rain in the summer. Before they banned sprinkling I would run it when we sat out just to get that smell. It’s pretty bad when you are out there with a hose in your hand trying to decided what lives and what dies. Then yesterday it rained. It wasn’t a lot, maybe a third of an inch but it was more than we have gotten in the last 9 Julys put together.
Notice how dry the ground is in front of my tomatoes
I love tomatoes and the last couple years were pretty disappointing. This year I went a little overboard. I went in to buy Better Boys, one of my favorite varieties. Having trouble finding them I asked a clerk and not paying enough attention, I came home with Big Boys instead. I kept them and went back for Better Boys, an Early Girl, and a Cherokee Purple. I don’t think I’ve ever put in more than six plants and this year I have ten.
(Part of) Today's Harvest
I know weather isn’t climate but after nine years of thinking it would go back to what I used to consider normal I’m thinking next year I really need to go to some sort of container / drip system or full hydroponic. The tomatoes are doing fine with lots of watering but I buried them deep and got them in early. The squash and cucumbers have been struggling. I gave up on the raspberries completely. The birds started to get the blueberries so we netted them. For days afterward we would come out side to realize a bird was trapped in the netting. I have no idea how they were getting in.
It was a good year for these.
I don’t know if it was the hot dry weather or the fact that we left them on the bush for so long because it was too hot to pick them, but the blueberries are like blueberry flavored sugar this year.
This is an interesting article about using fungus to make crops more resistant to heat, cold, drought, and salt.
Another surprising thing about the drought was our peaches did well. The tree must have very deep roots.
We have been so busy the last couple of months. We had some rush jobs on a couple of web sites. One was pretty complicated. We also did an SQL Express database in C# that generated charts in a couple weeks. It’s nice to kick back and the weather today is beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful.
And something to make you say awww…