Thursday, September 15, 2011

The rejuvenating power of rain.

The garden got 5 inches of rain over 3 days, Aug. 10-12 following two and a half months of drought and heat. Plants with very slow growth suddenly resumed growing. Plants that appeared dead were reborn. I thought my 6 pole beans were dead but Marengo and Rattlesnake are now setting pods. The Garlic Chives appeared dead but have regrown to 18 inches and are covered with flowers. The delicious and very nutritious (Omega-3) Red Gruner Purslane has doubled in weight in one month. The three Vigna unguiculata (Anna's Taiwan Green yardlong, Red Ripper, and Mayo Colima) that survived the coons and ground hogs grew rapidly in June and slowed as the drought hit but remained healthy. They had a burst of growth following the rain and now are setting pods furiously.

It was wonderful to watch the garden recover. I've added these and other survivors to the list of Boston Mountain Recommended varieties below.

A tough summer for perennials as well. I planted 9 varieties of Univ. of Arkansas blackberries. Several died; the rest except one were damaged and stunted. The one that was not bothered by the heat and drought was a thorny variety: Kiowa. That's the one I'll be propagating to make my blackberry patch. Two from Lowe's have done well. Kadota Fig, I bought 2 this Spring and have enjoyed 5 ripe figs this summer. There has been some insect leaf damage but they are healthy and had no problem with the heat/drought. Growing oregano from seed has been difficult for me so I bought 4 plants on sale for less than $10. They grew well last summer and this Spring but had most tall spikes dry up after they set seed. After the rain a mat of green growth appeared leaving me to harvest the spikes for seed and oregano seasoning. The Boysenberry I got from Burnt Ridge grew well and set many canes that should bear fruit next summer. The Lawtonberry from Burnt Ridge did not fare well--it died. The 4 tea plants (Camellia sinensis) from Burnt Ridge struggled during the drought and lost many leaves, one died. But with the coming of the rain they have taken off--lots of new branches and leaves. Hope they make it through the winter; I need the caffeine. The White Rosa rugosa and giant Serviceberry bushes also from Burnt Ridge lost all leaves but have new growth and look to recover. Not so for Jahn's Prairie Gooseberry from BR, It died. The Kiwi Gold Raspberry dried up but no loss. I've had it for years and never got more than a few berries.


Robert said...

Any chance of donating some of your rain over here?

woodsy_gardener said...

Not a chance. We've returned to drought, less than 1 inch of rain in the last month.