Sad, Dry, August Garden Update

The state of my garden is mostly dead with patchy aliveness. We have had PERHAPS a quarter-inch of rain in the last 7 or 8 weeks. Manually watering the garden is not something I strive to keep up with, so there isn’t much alive. I have a few tomatoes alive, a whole bed of peppers, and the sweet potatoes seem to be doing OK.

I tried planting a couple beds of green beans a few weeks ago, but they are scraggly and sad looking plants that probably won’t grow anything. I’ll probably just till them under to help fertilize the beds.

I can only imagine how hungry I would have been this year if I weren’t able to supplement this garden with produce from other local vendors.

Then again, I did have a nice selection of canned food leftover from last year. The USDA’s eat-within-1-year-or-else-you-will-die-of-botulism recommendation is a bit over the top, so we will keep ours for 2 years before tossing them out.


6 responses to this post.

  1. That looks rough. Can’t you haul water in a bucket and keep the plants alive? I mean, I guess it would be a lot of work but that’s really sad, so much effort and now everything dieing.


  2. I could do more watering, but the tomatoes were dying of leaf spot disease anyway. This garden is close enough to the house to water with a hose and/or sprinkler, but sometimes my motivation is morbid curiosity. Other times my lack of motivation is hot-weather laziness.

    At any rate, no year of gardening is a failure if you learned things. I’ll know next spring if strawberries will bounce back after a semi-drought year in a raised bed. I now know that sweet potatoes need a surprisingly small amount of water and I’ll soon know (when I dig them up) how that amount of water affected yield. I see that heat and sun both seem to be more important to peppers than water (previously I had only grown 18 to 24 inch peppers, some this year are 4 feet tall). The garlic did great in dry, dry soil. Etc., etc.

    It wasn’t a bad year so far. I would estimate that I got a bushel of tomatoes from 112 square feet…perhaps half a pound per square.


  3. Have you considered rain storage for times like this? Is your lack of watering at all rooted within not wanting to run the tap? I plan to organize a rain barrel system we will situate under the gutter on our barn. Store up a couple 55gal drums of water for the dry spells, especially for the onions.

    Our bell peppers haven’t done a thing, I should have pulled them and planted more lettuce but I wanted to see if they would do anything. All they’ve done is grow a handful of leaves, they are green but short standing no taller than 18inches. I did notice the couple of really dry days caused them to grow quite a bit, maybe that is my problem.


    • I very much want to do this, and intend to. I just need to secure some clean barrels. We have bottlers for both Pepsi and Coke in town, but I don’t have a contact there yet. I see the local car wash selling their drums, but I imagine they are toxic.

      I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but tap water seems to just run off the hardened garden dirt, but rain water soaks in.


  4. It is such a shame that after all the hard work in planting a garden that the weather was not good. So many gardens suffered. We watered but then our garden is small. Here’s to next years bounty.


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