July Garden Update

a.k.a. "Does anyone want to pay my water bill"?

Like most of the rest of the North American continent, we are dry, dry, dry here. And hot.

July is normally hot and dry - but it's been hot and dry since May. And that is not normal. According to the Ag Canada drought watch, this area has received less than 60% of normal precipitation for the growing season.

Do you know what happens when it's that dry? Your grass goes dormant in May, instead of in August. You get cracks in your lawn that are large enough to swallow a small dog. And that's in the low-lying area that floods in wet years!

That is a bare spot, but the cracks are all over. And they are DEEP. And this is an area right next to the vegetable garden, which has been getting water - hence the green grass.

But even with watering, I've had many crop failures: the spinach bolted almost before it grew, and the Swiss chard simply didn't get large enough to pick. Most of the brassicas bolted, except the kale, collards and cabbages. However, the heat lovers, like tomatoes and peppers, are loving the conditions. I've already picked almost a dozen tomatoes (the first one on July 12!) and a couple of hot peppers. Everything else seems to be holding on, but only because it's a small enough garden that I can water it.

The local farmers are looking at more crop failures if it doesn't rain a lot, and soon. And this comes after the projected 80-100% loss of the local fruit crops, thanks to an insanely warm March followed by a cold, frosty April.

Which makes me glad I have a garden, even if I do have to water it. Because food prices are going to go up, and it's going to be a scary year, I think.

Since this post is getting long enough, I do more specific updates in separate posts. Stay tuned!

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