So Discouraged!! Am I Alone??

mimidi(z8)May 29, 2007

I am so discouraged with the lack of rain in southeast Alabama and the entire southeast for that matter. I am watering constantly and my plants seem to wilt down between waterings. I know there is NOTHING that can be done about the lack of rain. How wonderful a long drenching rain would be. I can just imagine the flowers smiling and enjoying the showers from the heavens. There is nothing like it.

I just would like to know if others are feeling my dispair.

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sundog7(7)

Indeed. It's very discouraging. I've limited myself to six tomato plants. In my travels around the state I've seen many a vegetable garden only half planted (or less). It's not just the flowers and veggies being affected; shrubs and trees are being stressed.

Maybe next year will be better.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 7:51PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I am, for once, blessing my clay soil and extra high water table. Everything that's established is fine except the weeds and lawn. There's no shortage of green weeds to reseed that!

The garden is doing fine with fairly minimal watering -- I've spot watered only 3 times this year so far. Go down just a bit and the soil is moist for long after the last watering. One part I just tilled up was moist 5" down and I haven't watered that at all and it only had a few weeds on top for cover.

Still, the crunchy lawn is depressing and there's nothing like a thunderstorm to make everything feel clean and fresh. I'd love a good soaking rain about twice a week for the next month. Then I can go back to complaining about clay soil!

Meanwhile in Texas, they are washing away.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 8:28PM
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caroleena(Z8)

hi mimidi, yes i am having the same experience. i have given up on the back yard -- its like a dust bowl.... and concentrated on the front yard and my container plants. ozark is as dry as camel's breath!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 8:42PM
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mimidi(z8)

So is Wicksburg. Trying to water everything real good today because I plan to go to Orange Beach for a few days. I just hate to think about what I will find when I get back. If someone put a match to my lawn it would burn off along with the surrounding hay fields and probably the woods all around too. I sure hope the smokers are concerned about everything being so dry and watch what they do with their butts.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:03PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

I don't remember exactly which year, but I bought Sylvia a magnolia grandiflora for her birthday many years ago. It is between 15-20 feet tall. I noticed today the new bright green leaves are speckled and curling. It has been shedding leaves like crazy for over a month; more than usual for this time of year. In Hueytown we have been lucky becasue we have been blessed with 3-4 inches of rain in the last three weeks. Of course the dry air (where is the humidity this year) and sun just pulls it right out of the ground in a coule of days. State Senator and radio talk show host Hank Irwin of Montevallo was calling for all churches to pray for rain on Sunday, June 3. I'm going to add my little prayer even without Sen. Irwin's urging.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 9:02PM
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down2earth

Mimidi, You are not alone but I know from experience that knowing one has company is no comfort. I am just west of you and not too far from Caroleena either. Last year I lost dozens upon dozens of established daylilies and that was with watering twice a week. Everything came into Spring a bit weak and behind due to that late freeze. I just hate to think of the losses this year. We have upped our watering schedule and hope for the best. In town and some surrounding areas are already on water rationing. We do have our on well in addition to the public water system and just really hope that we will not be limited. I do know for certain that our water & electricity bill is going to be astronomical. Is it worth it? I am begining to wonder. I already down sized my gardens by 5 beds this Spring and I am certain that come Fall or Spring next year, I will be eliminating even more plants (if there are any left).

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 1:10PM
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mimidi(z8)

Still no rain here. We don't have public water only a deep well. I am only watering flowers and I don't know how long I can continue doing that. I am not buying any new plants or even trying to root from what I have. No reason if you can't keep it alive. I will probably be looking for ways to cut back on my flowers too. (If there are any left.)

I was in Orange Beach last week and on Wednesday they got three inches of rain.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 11:56AM
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phillip_in_alabama(7b)

You are not alone. It is very depressing! I don't think it has rained at my house in over a month.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 4:23PM
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ourhighlandhome

As others have said, you are NOT alone, and it IS very depressing. My humble half-acre is both a haven and retreat - to me, my ten cats, to the birds that bathe & drink from my fountains, the bull-, tree- and leopard frogs that breed and refresh themselves in my water gardens, along with the dirt daubers that frantically dig and haul off tiny bits of mud from any available source (leaving my potted pond marginals virtually bare-rooted). What honey bees that are left balance themselves precariously as they attempt to drink from the pond edges, all the while exposing themselves, along with many others, to the many predators that await thirsty visitors at the waters' edge.

Forgive my rambling frustration, but situations like this makes me wonder about the "wisdom" of both God and Mother Nature....

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 1:01AM
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jamietee

I live north of Orange Beach and we missed that 3 inches of rain mimidi :( which is very frustrating...it seems the rain is always just to my N S E or W. A slight chance of rain this afternoon...fingers crossed, prayers flying, rabbit's foot on me, etc.!! My plants are all young (just landscaped from scratch in the fall) and I lost several to the last freeze so they are needing extra extra attention this summer and some drenching rain would be heaven sent.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 9:09AM
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sundog7(7)

I'm very tempted now to give up. Birmingham Water Works has issued a "Stage Three Drought Warning". That would be bad enough, but I'm on the road most weeks from before daylight on Mondays until after dark on Fridays. In fact, right now I'm in Florence, Alabama. If I can't water my tomatoes, cukes, flowers, new fig tree, etc. on Saturday or Sunday, I may as well dig them up and put them on the compost pile.

Maybe I can find a neighbor who would be willing to water the plants. Maybe it will rain tomorrow (50-50 chance!). Right now it just looks hopeless.

I talked to a farmer today in Lawrence County who said his corn was a lost cause, and if he didn't get some rain in the next three weeks, his cotton would be pretty much gone, too. So, even the pros are having problems this year. My loss would be miniscule compared to his.

Let's all continue to pray for rain.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 8:49PM
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mimidi(z8)

Agreed Sundog.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:14PM
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sundog7(7)

Surprise, surprise! It rained on me today in Colbert County, and then when I got home a few minutes ago, it was raining here in Pinson. Doesn't look like much, but every drop right now is a blessing.

I work in the natural gas business so I have friends all over the South. I hope some of them are getting a bit of this rain today.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 7:25PM
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mimidi(z8)

Sundog we got a 1/2 inch of rain late yesterday afternoon. It sprinkled during the night too. Thank you God! I have been out this morning riding around my yard and the plants and flowers look so happy. By the way the weeds do too.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:30AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

yes the rain was nice - but it was not NEAR enough to do me for even a couple of days - it is depressing - daylily blooms are deformed from the drought - only so much that city water coming thru soakers can do. we can just hope for another Barry (NOT a hurricane, only a small depression or something)......

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 1:22PM
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ala8south

I'm discouraged too. It looks like August in the garden. So have any of you been thinking of changes to make in your gardens for future years? I've definitely determined to go back to all soaker hoses and give up on the sprinkler system. It seems to me that having my mulch over the sprinkler hose is doing a far better job. Think it is better at holding down disease problems too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Patricia43(z8 AL)

Water once per week for 8 hours, moving the sprinkler hoses around every 2 hours. It takes 3 so we are basically using 24 hours of water weekly. No wilting of plants except those west-facing which like hydrangea do that naturally to conserve on water.

Who got rain? I am totally jealous.

DH got water bill today and he is going to appeal to the mayor, requesting that he be able to trade me in for water. :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 2:16PM
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mimidi(z8)

Do you think that will work Patricia. Our increase will show up on the bill from Alabama Power.

Friday has been our only rain. It has been come close to us but no more for us. I have been outside mowing down dead grass and weeds in my yard and it does smell like the end of August or September instead of the nice green smell of early summer.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:29PM
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browneyedsusan_gw(8a)

We got heavy rain yesterday afternoon but the soil is so dry that only the top 1" of soil was moistened. I think today's high temperatures will dry it out again. I long for the monsoons of Bombay!
Susan

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 1:11PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I just wandered down to read and feel the kinship.

Ann, east of Knoxville, TN
14 inch deficit so far this year

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 11:59AM
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loveofmylife680(z7)

The rain we got last week only got the soil wet about 1\2 inch or less. Got a little sprinkle today but not enough to count, we need a nice slow rain so bad. Maybe if everybody does a rain dance all at the same time we could get some.
Jill

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 7:15PM
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decolady01(7a/6b AL/TN)

We're in Stage 4 Drought. Everything looks terrible. I've been watering the garden at the farm in TN and all my pot plants at the house in Huntsville. They still get all droopy between watering. :-( Last Tuesday we got maybe 1/2" rain in town, though at the farm it was about 2 1/2". Still everything was so hard and dry, it mostly just ran off.

Becky

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 9:08PM
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pfllh(8Al)

With water restrictions around us, I'm so thankful for the well. I'm just watering the flower beds and grass around the house.
I'm afraid I'm going to lose some of the young trees I planted. I have the water on some of them for overnight and will move it in the morning to another area. I've got to get it soaked good as I have surgery the 27th. I just pray we get some rain soon or it'll all be dead.
Here's hoping the whole state gets a good soft farmer's rain for hours.
Lynn

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 3:07AM
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sundog7(7)

I worked today in Hillsboro, AL., and they had a good rain there. Probably 1/2 inch or so. One of the homes there had hundreds of daylilies that were doing quite well.

Right now I'm home in Pinson and I think it rained about 1/2 inch before I got here. I did pick three beautiful Better Boy tomatoes and one cucumber when I got home! The veggies love the small amount of rain they've been getting. (Don't tell Birmingham Water Works that I've been watering them, too.)

Tomorrow I'm heading to West Point, GA. Wonder if they're as dry as we've been.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 10:12PM
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mimidi(z8)

Probably Sundog. We did get a couple of tenths of rain Monday evening. I sure was good to sit on the back porch and watch the rain.

Those fresh vegetables are so good. I have been able to put up some this year. String beans, butterbeans, peppers, pinkeyes, squash,and corn. Corn is the worst for me to have to worry with but it is worth every ear. It seems the olde hubby and I get the more we enjoy those good old homegrown veggies.

The tomatoes have been especially good this year.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:52AM
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sundog7(7)

Well, West Point is nearly as dry as Pinson. The guys here said that it will cloud up every afternoon, but it never seems to rain.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 6:13PM
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bama35640(Z7A AL)

The sign at the end of my road says it all "PRAY FOR RAIN"
My pond is so low you can see the fish stirring up the mud in the bottom.

Bob in Morgan County

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 12:52PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I was shocked to get 1.45" of rain on Wednesday. Most of it in a torrential downpour for about 30 minutes. The plants don't see happy as much as they seem confused. I was glad to get it. Meanwhile, just a couple of miles away, they barely got a sprinkle. And yesterday with all those storms in the area, I got nothing.

Looks like a lot of folks in No Alabama will get some rain this weekend. Here's hoping!

Most everything I have is doing okay, though. Just slow and lagging behind, but not dying. But only the lantana is lush and pretty, the rest is just sort of hanging in there.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:05PM
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mimidi(z8)

I am getting to really like lantana. My bushes are lush and pretty too. It seems the drier it is the better it does. I need more of these plants.

I do hope we could all get some rain this weekend.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 4:35PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I had never seem them before (I'm new to the area), but I have lots of them in all different colors, and it seems I have the old style variety instead of the newer ones since I have lots of generous seed clusters. And judging from the dead bushes I removed this winter when I bought this place, I can expect mine to approach 5' tall by the end of summer!

They sure are attracting the bees and butterflies, as is the spearmint which has bolted. Other than a couple of large bushes (which I can't ID) and the giant rosemary, uh, TREES, everything out front seems to have been put there just to be a butterfly garden with a few nods to the hummingbords. So I ditched my plans to make it an herb garden and I am filling in the empty spots with more cone flowers and sage and gerber daisies and other summer pretties. It's heavily mulched and I am certainly keeping an eye on putting in plants that can take the heat and be dry. At least once they get some good roots in.

It looks like an overgrown meadow instead of foundation landscaping but hey, it's pretty. And not much else is right now.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 5:06PM
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mimidi(z8)

Sounds wonderful. A butterfly and hummingbird haven. That is my yard. If the butterflies and hummingbirds like it I will plant it. I have herbs thrown in there among everything too.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:04PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I've never tried it before, so I'm winging it. If it's pretty and fragrant and perennial, in the shopping cart it goes. :)

I've got lots of room (in a way, too much), so the herb garden is going elsewhere. Except for the spearmint. I doubt napalm could get rid of it, let alone a little drought!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:59PM
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mimidi(z8)

Alabamanicole I visited your blog and marked it to go back and read.

I am going to suggest that you visit the Butterfly Garden Forum and the Hummingbird Forum. I would also appreciate your e-mailing me. Click on mimidi and you will get my e-mail address.

I have some of the older lantana along with a couple of the new ones.

It thundered all around us last night but no rain.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 8:54AM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

Praise be to God, we have actually gotten measurable amounts of rain 3 days this week in Santuck. It rained 1/2 inch Tues. afternoon, almost that amount Thurs. afternoon and about 3/4 inch today. If it keeps this up, I may have to mow my lawn this summer after all!!!! :)
Jan

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 9:14PM
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mimidi(z8)

Where is Santuck?

We got a good shower on Tuesday night. This on top of an inch the week before and an 1/2 in the week before and another 1/2 inch tonight it looks as if there is an end to the tunnel of dryness.

Then temps dropped to the 70's and the hummmingbirds went crazy. I have not seen them act like this all season.. Mating season is over and now mamas, daddies and babies are all ready for some fun. Flowers and feeders all getting a workout. It was like a war zone all over my yard this afternon. Boy are those mean little devils.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 11:07PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

It's absolutely coming down out there in bucketfuls for the 3rd time this week. It's pretty marshy out there. The dog is freaking out but I am NOT COMPLAINING!

About 1/3 of my garden is fallow, and it's the lower end. I can see I need to address some drainage issues there before planting anything at that end... it's a big mud puddle.

In Danville, they got 4" Wednesday. Maybe our dry spell is coming to an end, but I think it's too late for the corn crop.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 3:07PM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

mimidi...Santuck is about 7 miles north of Wetumpka which is about 12 miles north of Montgomery. :) Glad to hear you have been getting some showers too.
Jan

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 1:57PM
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lauramck(7b/8)

I gardened in the high desert of New Mexico before moving to Alabama. I learned to garden in sunken beds rather than raised ones. Here I have raised ones but I used our solid red clay to make rims around each bed to hold in water. I also planted each plant down into a depression this year. This has helped tremendously. Around shrubs that aren't planted in depresions I used red clay to make raised rims to hold in water. Keeping it all watered hasn't been easy (we have more than 7000 square feet of intensively planted vegetable and fruit beds and another 1/2 acre of fruit trees) but we're holding our own so far.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laura's Garden page

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 3:36PM
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