Check out their loaded pollen baskets!Check out their loaded pollen baskets!
Bees going crazy for sweet cornBees going crazy for sweet corn
As the sweet potatoes grow, so do the grass and clover.As the sweet potatoes grow, so do the grass and clover.
A sea of greenA sea of green
In contrast, this is the grass in the backyard, which benefits from regular water run-off from one of the raised beds.In contrast, this is the grass in the backyard, which benefits from regular water run-off from one of the raised beds.
Sorry, front lawn. No artificial irrigation for you.Sorry, front lawn. No artificial irrigation for you.
And cracks and bare spots.And cracks and bare spots.
And cracks formingAnd cracks forming
And occasionally there are just straight bare spots.And occasionally there are just straight bare spots.
The ever-widening crack between the soil and our front walkwayThe ever-widening crack between the soil and our front walkway
A sea of brownA sea of brown
The only occasional spots of green in the front lawn now are weeds which apparently produce energy out of something other than water and sunshine.The only occasional spots of green in the front lawn now are weeds which apparently produce energy out of something other than water and sunshine.
This isn't straw. This is what was formerly grass on our front lawn.This isn't straw. This is what was formerly grass on our front lawn.
  • Check out their loaded pollen baskets!
  • Bees going crazy for sweet corn
  • As the sweet potatoes grow, so do the grass and clover.
  • A sea of green
  • In contrast, this is the grass in the backyard, which benefits from regular water run-off from one of the raised beds.
  • Sorry, front lawn. No artificial irrigation for you.
  • And cracks and bare spots.
  • And cracks forming
  • And occasionally there are just straight bare spots.
  • The ever-widening crack between the soil and our front walkway
  • A sea of brown
  • The only occasional spots of green in the front lawn now are weeds which apparently produce energy out of something other than water and sunshine.
  • This isn't straw. This is what was formerly grass on our front lawn.

I start each growing season with a lot of zeal. A lot of ambition and determination. I’m going to grow everything and I’m going to grow lots of it.

Then August hits.

I don’t know what it is about August, but I should know by now to not try to get anything done in the garden. Something major always comes up that draws me away and I can’t do anything about. Last year it was work travel. This year it was a national conference in Burlington, Vermont followed by my flight home being cancelled and getting stranded there for two extra days, followed immediately by a friend’s suicide. Oof.

In addition to my figurative blogging drought, we’re also months into a very serious literal drought. As urban homesteaders we have access to city water, so even when the rain doesn’t come, we can still irrigate like crazy. We can mostly avoid the damaging effects of drought that many farmers can’t. Right now we’re watering 6 days/week. What we aren’t able to escape, though, is the effect of the heat.

For weeks or months it was too hot for our tomatoes to properly pollinate. We had big, healthy plants (until early blight set in) but no new fruit was forming. The heat also interfered with our sweet corn pollination in July, resulting in many cobs that did not develop at all, some that were underdeveloped, and some cobs that were developed enough to be worth eating, but the kernel development was still spotty.

As others have pointed out, the drought has driven pollinators to plants where we normally wouldn’t see them, such as honey bees on our sweet corn. We got a small planting of native flowers in this spring, and while we haven’t watered them directly in months, most of them are still hanging on and frequently visited by bees, butterflies and moths.

So overall the garden is progressing well despite my negligence and the drought. But it sure would be nice to have some rain.

2 Responses to “Drought”


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  1. […] musing on: the prevalence of home gardeners we know commenting on poor results (such as here and here), while most professional vegetable farmers we know are having bumper years. Most home gardens, […]

  2. […] corn did okay. The plants grew, but the heat interfered with pollination. The purple podded pole beans also grew, but didn’t start putting on flowers until the last […]