Now we are in the season of really, truly no rain. Day after sunny day marches inexorably through the summer. Well, there was one overcast day in June, but that was just an El Niño effect, they say.
So I need to water. Or plant things that don't need summer water. There are many drought-tolerant, drought-resistant, and even drought-demanding perennials. (No, I haven't planted a daphne yet, speaking of drought-demanders it's on the list.)
Annuals are a bit trickier, of course. But many do fine once they get big enough, both because they sink their roots down and they can
shade their own root zone. One thing I'm learning though, is that it's much harder to establish seedlings in June or July than in April or May. The heavy springtime dews which are a boon to baby plants disappear as the season progresses. In Minnesota, there's no point in new plantings past the middle of June, because the first frosts are only three months away. I don't have to worry about early frosts here, but it's still tough to plant past that time.
Speaking of late plantings, I'm wondering if I should give up growing cucumbers. Such slow-growing, shrimpy vines I've never had before! And one patch is entirely covered with powdery mildew. Had I noticed sooner, I could have sprayed them with a baking soda solution, but I think it's too late now. Well, maybe next year I'll start them sooner and see what happens. Anyone know of a drought-resistant cucumber?!?
Karen Schaffer (and, parenthetically, Mike Ward)
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