I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods weather wise . . . . I had to turn off the news after the fifty-thousandth day of coverage on Casey Anthony. Triple ugh.
And, yes, this is exactly how I think and talk. I’m married to a man with an engineering mind, and have two children wired the same way. Imagine how hard it is to understand one another sometimes.
But, back to the weather. As Bill would say, “It hotter and drier than a popcorn fart.”
Anyhoo . . . right now I wish I were anywhere north of here. It is HOT! All of June, we kept hearing “Today’s temperatures will be over 100F,” That’s just wrong. We don’t usually get this kind of weather until mid-July and then into August.
Instead, 2011 has been all about century temperatures and little to no rain. Oklahoma City received 1.24 inches in June. Yes, that’s a record. The southeastern part of the state is having a few popup storms this morning, but boo, hiss, nothing at the Red Dirt Ranch.
You can see the U.S. Drought Monitor at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. It isn’t pretty my friends.
However, before you take an axe to your potted plants, there is possibly good news. Mesonet is showing our temperatures getting back to normal in July. Yes, that’s still hot, but not HOT.
Hang in there. Here are some suggestions to make the best of a bad situation.
- Water containers every morning and evening (if they are small).
- Take down hanging baskets and place them in partial shade where they can recoup. Hanging in the hot air is killing mine so I’ll just keep them down for awhile.
- With the garden, don’t over water. Hopefully you have soaker hoses, or some kind of drip system. If not, think about installing one next year. You can do a drip system yourself, and I relied on soaker hoses for years. I’m watering about three days a week, but I have fescue in the front lawn, and it needs a bit more water. Everything else except the front beds are on drip irrigation. Because I’m on my own well, I can water without a bill which makes a huge difference.
- In the fall, consider installing rain barrels. for a bed or two. It does help cut down on water bills.
- Keep plants deadheaded and give them a liquid fertilizer to keep their strength up. I use organic fertilizers which can be ordered through the mail, or ask your local garden center to carry them. The only way we’ll change their hearts is through our pocket books.
- If you didn’t mulch earlier, do it now in the cool of the mornings. It doesn’t matter so much what you use to mulch. You just need a cooling layer for plant roots.
- Water in the mornings. You can also run your irrigation system at night, but that will sometimes cause powdery mildew. I’ve been surprised there haven’t been more water restrictions placed on communities. They will come.
- Keep weeds pulled as much as possible. Otherwise, your plants must compete for nutrients and water.
- If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor, offer to water their plants for them and make sure they have enough fans in the house. In hot weather, we sometimes forget how hard this is on our older friends. Same thing with your animals. Make sure they have plenty of good water sources. My dogs and cats drink out of my two fountains, have water in the garage and also a large water container near the water spigot. We fill this daily to make sure mosquitoes aren’t attracted to it.
- Remember native flowers tend to enjoy the heat if watered. So, next spring or even this fall, plant a few native perennials to fill things out in the garden.
That’s all I can think of right now except remember this will all get better by fall, and your plants will recover.Let me know if you think of anything else I’ve forgotten.
Also, with all these photos, I played around with Picnik’s vintage effect among others. It was slow going, but fun to do with such overexposed material in harsh sunlight.