Sunday, July 29, 2018
The weather here in the mid-west section of USA has been brutal this summer. We are an average of 20 degrees hotter for this time of the year and it makes gardening difficult because many of the seedlings were are not established before the heat wave. I had planted annual flowers, herbs, and vegetables during the spring seasons. But that season was about two weeks prior to the intense heat.
The average temperature from June through July was in the high 90’s with the heat index at 105+. When the weather is this hot too soon in the season the only thing that you can do is try your best to keep your new plants and seedlings hydrated.
I went through my three 50 gallon rain barrels very quickly because there was no rain to replenish them. Along with the high heat, our summer was dry and water was at drought status. We were on a water restriction which means I could not water my plants including vegetable daily, instead, I had odd days that I could water the morning only.
On the days that I could water, I did set a slow-drip soaking hose on a timer and this hose runs from 5 to 9 AM. I never watered the gardens in the heat of the day because the water would evaporate. I watered my container plants including peppers and tomatoes with recycled water from our home. Collecting the water from the bathtub to put in the water barrel is a tiresome and time-consuming job. On average I worked a good hour on this task each and every morning. Sometimes in the afternoon if there was a water source that I could use.
All bath water was collected to water the container plants and by doing this I was able to keep these gardens hydrated during the summer drought.
In spring I planted 5000 zinnias and cosmos flowers and only a few survived the drought. It is safe to say that it has been a long hot summer and that I am looking forward to the cooler days in fall when I can plant chrysanthemums and other fall season flowers.