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August 9th, 2016

This summer we’ve been having a drought here in Maine. To make it worse, we didn’t get much snow this past winter, so we started off the season low on moisture. It has only gotten worse. During the months of June, July, August we’ve gotten less than an inch of rain. On top of that, it’s been pretty hot for Maine, we’ve been averaging temps in the high 80’s and lots of low 90’s throughout the summer.
drought 1
For a while everything was dealing with the drought, but then it got to be too much. Lots of small saplings are dying, the weeds along the driveway haven’t been able to hold on, the lawn is past being dormant.
drought 2
We’ve been watering certain plants and parts of the garden, but since we’re using well water we’ve been taking it easy. Luckily, my efforts to add more organic matter and the heavy layer of mulch I add to the garden has given the cultivated areas a fighting chance. Amazingly, they’ve been doing fairly well with minimal water inputs on my part.
drought 3
It will be interesting to see how many things don’t come back next spring. I’m thinking there will be large patched of lawn that will be dead. That’s not such a bad thing, I’ve been wanting to replace the lawn with a nice drought tolerant grass that needs less mowing. Perhaps I’ll turn these lemons into lemonade and be able to have a few sections of nice lawn without having to deal with killing the weeds that are currently growing there.

How’s the rain situation in your garden this year?

9 Comments to “Parched…”
  1. Nebraska Dave on August 9, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Susy, we are doing better in Nebraska than you. June was a dry month with only 1 inch of rain but July made up for it with 7 inches of rain. August is not producing any significant moisture yet. With just under 70 days left before the first killing frost date, peas were planted. I’m hoping to get a few for the salad greens that I’m going to plant beside the peas. This was the sweet corn patch which was a great success this year. I kind of over planted. Two four by twenty eight foot beds of sweet corn gave me a 160 prime ears of corn with about 40 second ears of corn. I gave most of it away. It was delicious and victory over the raccoons was even more delicious.

    Have the best dought day that you can.

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  2. bonnie knox on August 9, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Here in central NC, we’ve had above average rainfall this year. I was just noticing yesterday how luxuriant the pine needles look on the loblolly pines. The crabgrass is especially lush! It’s been nice to see all the ornamentals thriving and producing large blooms.
    It’s great that I haven’t had to spend extra time watering the garden plants, but I think I probably spend more time mowing than usual.
    Hope the drought breaks for you soon.

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    • PennyAshevilleNC on August 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Hey neighbor/sort of :) We have had a super wet July- similar to 2013. I appreciate not having to water too- but the weeding and stuff is rampant.

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  3. Misti on August 9, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Flood in spring to parched in summer, that’s us. No moderation. We’re holding on here but I’ve got a pine tree that is thinking about dying. we’re hoping it is just one of the big branches and not the whole tree.

    Drought is tough!

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  4. Sara on August 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Oof, I feel for you. We had a drought year in 2012–crazy hot early spring where all the fruits bloomed early and then got hit by a frost, and then no rain for all of June/July. We had a hot spell where lows were in the 80s and the tomatoes wouldn’t set fruit. It was SO Frustrating–I could water but I couldn’t cool it down. It made me realize how a combination of factors can really throw off your growing season, and watching storms miss us was heartbreaking.

    This year is pretty darn normal precipitation, but even 4 years later I am super grateful for regular rains, and much more empathetic when I see it happen to somebody else. Hang in there! Our crispy grass came back fine, (but maybe that’s not what you want, ha!)

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    • Susy on August 10, 2016 at 8:37 am

      We’ve had rain go around us many time this summer, it is really frustrating.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Jennifer Fisk on August 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Mt. Desert Island has gotten almost no rain this summer. I’ve watered three times this summer for 3-5 hours at a time so I’m saving the garden but it is still stressed which is allowing insects to be a problem. Squash/cucumber beetles have been having a hay day. There may be some rain this weekend.

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  6. Lisa on August 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    This summer is very hot. July was without rain. We watered the garden every day.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  7. Hilary on August 10, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Same situation here in Hope! So dry! Going to water this morning so my veggies still mature. We are on the well also. Weather has been beautiful but we could sure use some rain!

    Reply to Hilary's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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