Effects of the Hot, Dry Weather

Dare I say, drought?  Where our farm sits, we are in the area that is designated as the first stages of drought.  We skipped spring altogether here, with temps in the 80s and 90s in April and May when the average temps should be in the 60s.  We started our crops at the normal time, fearing a late freeze (which we did get, by the way!)

Roma tomatoes are faring pretty well, though they are small for this time of year.

 

I’ve stopped counting the days we’ve gone without rain.  Can you actually count the ‘spit’ we got last night?  I could see on the road that there was moisture, but it wasn’t enough to even discolor the soil in the gardens.  Add to the lack of moisture, the neverending, relentless wind out here in the flats.  The soil has turned to cracked concrete and the plants are doing their best to just suvive the heat.  Our hopes are that they are busy sending out more expansive root systems so that they will survive this.  Our worry is that it won’t be enough–many of the crops we grow here in the summer barely have enough of a season to produce fruit.  With this setback, will they have enough time to set and ripen any fruit at all?  Stressed plants tend to drop blooms and work on simple survival.  We have no choice but to ride it out and learn from the experience.

Even the chickens are protesting this heat–the hens have gone on strike!  We have consistently collected 8-10 eggs per day and now are down to 4 or 5.

Peppers so severly heat stressed, all they’re doing is surviving. We do have fruit on the more tropical ones, but they are very small.

 

What are we learning?  Personally, Jason and I are learning that we need to keep up our efforts to add more trees, bushes and perennials to act as windblocks.  Sometimes weeds are the lesser of two evils–the small weeds are acting like mulch to hold some of the moisture in and keep the sun from baking the ground.  Yes, they do compete for moisture, but the beds where we’ve left weeds are still faring better than the others.  We need to work harder to produce more compost to loosen this hard, clay soil.  We are working on ways to make income from many different jobs and projects.  Mostly we are learning to go with the flow.  Mother Nature does her work slowly, patiently, consistently.  She knows what she needs–even if it isn’t always what we think we need!

(And maybe we should start saving for a really large greenhouse!  Look how much better the plants are doing in there!)

Tobasco peppers in the greenhouse–lush and full

Brandywine tomato outside

Brandywine tomato–same crop inside the greenhouse.

Normal, healthy tomatoes in the greenhouse.

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3 thoughts on “Effects of the Hot, Dry Weather

  1. It will be interesting to see how they do, we also missed spring, and are now in high temps, but not as long as your’s in regards to lack of water..

    They say that the temps will break soon and that we are in for four days of rain but Dh has been watching the rain pass on the right of the left of the farm for days now in the thunderstorms and not a drop has hit us.. our slews and our little ponds are bone dry, as are our water barrels and rain water catch systems, we are on the wells for water at this time..

    • It is getting pretty dry here too – lets all hope we get some rain and cooler temps! You are so right on the compost – Its amazing how much water and moisture is held near the roots of plants that have a lot of compost in the soil. Here’s to hoping you get some rain soon – that probably means we would too! 🙂 Hang in there!

      Jim and Mary

    • A break in the temps would be wonderful! Hope it happens for you up north! We too watch the rain fall in the distance and pass our fields by. 😦 Unfortunately, it looks like we have no such break coming any time soon here in our area. But Mother Nature reminds us that we cannot control everything! All we can do is partner with her and continue to diligently do our part, while she does hers.

      We’ll be doin’ the ‘rain dance’ here and sending it your way too! Maybe we can stretch it to reach you too, Jim and Mary!

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