Waiting for rain

The garden seems to be in some sort of holding pattern.  The old summer plants are limping along, being supplemented by frequent watering and liquid feeds like they are on some kind of life support.  They are still productive and there is a modest harvest, but it is so dry.   And while we are no longer in those heady high temperature days, it is still hot in the grand scheme of things – too hot to walk on the sandy paths with bare feet in the middle of the afternoon kind of hot.

Endless blue sky
We have had nothing but endless blue sky with no rain in sight.

Even the weeds refuse to grow.  It is like a stale mate.  I have things I’d like to do, like sow cover crops, buy and plant plants from an ever-growing wish list, make changes and repairs to areas that haven’t fared well over this last growing season and enjoy the pleasure of good honest, get ya hands dirty gardening.  But aside from it being too hot and too dry, it is not the time to be planting or sowing anything.  The demand of keeping them moist is too great right now.  I’ll leave that to the garden centre for the things on the list and keep cover crop seeds in seed packets.  Before any plants go into the ground, it needs a good deep soak, but more than that it needs to stay damp while everything establishes.

Even the zinnia look hot!

I can manage the cool season seedlings in a handful of seed trays because I have them directly out the front of my office door where I can almost trip over them.  Watering these reminds me to water the 4 rows I directly sowed into the garden at the same time.  But beyond this, too much effort is required to fight against the conditions.

We’re still getting some delish tomatoes

There is rain in the forecast.  Last time I looked there was a big fat rain cloud icon for this Thursday, then it moved to Friday.  Now it is showing up on Sunday, with light showers following for four days afterwards.  But I’m not holding my breath – I’ve seen this before.  The big fat rain cloud icon on the forecast evaporates as easily as it would if it landed on my parched earth.

Cool season seedlings
The cool season seedlings are doing ok for now.

The other thing about rain where we are on the coast, is it tends to avoid us.  There is a large river mouth to the south of us and an inlet to a harbour to the north and the rain – from what I have observed, is the rain follows the water and you can watch it out to sea, carelessly spilling water from laden clouds into the ocean as it makes its way inland everywhere but here. It feels like such a waste… the salty sea has no need for the extra fresh water.  Even watching the rain radar imagery, you can see in real time the clouds part above us, as if a well intentioned by misguided effort to protect us from a deluge.

The pea seedlings are up.

I imagine in the winter – as I have forgotten what it is like to be constantly cold and wet, I will be grateful for this pattern, which would give us a break from the relentlessness of winter.  And I have promised myself not to moan and complain about the winter weather – although I will probably also forget this as summer becomes a distant memory.

work in progress
I have continued to work on the first section of the new room in The Palace Garden. I’m very pleased with the progress.

So, for now I just wait – ready to jump in and get some good gardening done as soon as the weather changes and the rains come.

Come again soon – it can’t stay dry forever!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

8 thoughts on “Waiting for rain

  1. Oh gosh. Happy to send you some of our rain from Wairoa. Such a strange summer with lots of rain, humidity heat and some wintery temperatures thrown into the mix. None of this is usual for here. But for now we have a week of rain so I’m catching up in inside stuff and catching my breath. Getting figs off my tree every day which is lovely.

  2. And in Sydney I have plants, which have been fine for years, rotting because of the huge amount of rain we have had. Gardens which are normally dry as a bone at this time of year, are boggy.

    1. The rain you have had has been heartbreaking and completely unimaginable! I hope you haven’t come to too much harm this season. Things are certainly all over the place! Stay safe and well. : o)

  3. Sarah, we here in Nebraska are being moisture challenged as well. Only little better than an inch of rain since last October. We are in a drought condition with no burn ordinances in place for some of the time. We did get a bit of rain and some snow recently to eliminate the no burn but still very much behind in ground moisture. In addition to that the temperatures are still below freezing at night which keeps the ground frozen. It’s going to be a very late spring here. I haven’t really started any warm weather seeds yet as it just hasn’t warmed up enough.

    We do have short memories, don’t we. In the midst of winter we wish it was summer and in the midst of hot we wish it was winter. Weather patterns have really been strange this year. All winter the temps have been swinging wildly way above average then in a couple days later way below average. It’s difficult to know what the summer here will bring for gardeners to contend with.

    Enjoy the warm/hot temps as much as you can.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

    1. Oh gosh – a winter drought isn’t ideal, – isn’t that when the rain is supposed to come and deeply restore the earth? I hope you get just the right amount of rain soon.
      I’m trying to count my blessings in this season and will try to remember to count them in the next. : o)

    1. I have been watching the forecast all week and it is constantly changing. I’m still hope to get some but I’m not holding my breath. I hope you get a good deluge soon. : o)

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