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How is the drought affecting you?

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How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:37 pm

My sister, who sometimes posts on this forum, is a farmer in nearby Green County. The lack of rain is really hurting.

In the city, I'm not doing too bad. No grass lawn to go brown. My annuals seem to be hanging on. Perennials not in containers have mostly died out. Some I think were eaten by desperate critters who have greatly expanded their diet, like they do in winter. I do occasionally water my plants, otherwise they would all die out. I have a couple of containers with peppers. Squirrels and chipmunks have wiped out the janapenos. They don't like the cayennes as much.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:18 pm

My garden is for shit. I don't think I'm going to get much of anything this year. I can't bring myself to keep wasting my water on it. The money I'd spend on the water bill if I kept up with it could have gotten me a years worth of produce at the grocery store. Otherwise I haven't mowed my grass in weeks and I don't think I've heard a lawn mower in my neighborhood in that same amount of time. The news people said it takes about 65 days without water to actually kill the grass. That is something I don't want to happen. Then there is this:

Speich said the lack of moisture has shut down the field corn's pollination process in the critical 10 days after it tassels.

"If it doesn't pollinate, there's no ear," Speich added. "That's the reason it can become a total loss. You've got that 10-day window and that's it."


http://www.wiscnews.com/news/local/arti ... 963f4.html

I can't remember this ever happening in Wisconsin.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby snoqueen » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:19 pm

I put out a pan of water every night for the critters. It gets tipped or moved around almost every night which shows me somebody was using it. During the day I see bees, wasps, and other insects taking a drink, too. I've got almost no butterflies at this time, which is unusual, and only a few fireflies.

The established plants in my prairie garden seem not to care whether it rains or not. After a few years, they've grown roots that must go clear to China. Some of the high grasses are astonishing in their toughness -- I haven't given them any water at all and they are beautiful. Butterflyweed seeds are actually sprouting, which I can't figure out but they're fine too. A couple small native berry trees I planted are doing well. I take a bucket of water to the newly planted prairie items every few days, and I haven't lost a single one.

Native plants are the way to go. I'm continuing with this project in the theory summers from now on are likely to resemble this summer, and I want to support as much photosynthesis and life as I can.

Domestic plants are in bad, bad shape, even trees planted in the median where they can't reach moisture. You can water trees, so if you are in a position to do so please do.

Seems like the summer of 94 or 95 was this bad, with total loss of corn in some areas. Same with 88.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby TeachInPeace » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:25 pm

The only things in my garden anymore are my tomatoes and petunias. A lot of hay to keep moisture in, and I water every other day so it's not too bad. Fruit seems small and slow to set though - we shall see. Perennials doing ok - watering them with gallon jugs shlepped outside in the morning. Planters ok but slow. Grass dead, but I rent, so who cares? If I had my way it would be all veggies, and no lawn at all. Stupid lawn mower guy was out cutting down some weeds yesterday and mowed over my sunflowers, protective fencing and all. Rage. :evil: Most lawns around me are dead and anything that hasn't been watered properly is on the way out. Today's cloudburst woke up the bugs and left us with buzzing humidity. From South Dakota style summer to New Orleans...weird.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Steve Vokers » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:32 pm

My lawn is dead, but that means I don't have to mow it. I irrigate the vegetable garden and other edible stuff we grow, so they are doing alright.

Feel bad about the farmers, though. This has got to be painful for them, watching your crops shrivel up in slo mo.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Bwis53 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:52 pm

The tiny bunnies ate up one of my mini rose bushes. Must've been desperate for something juicy. Last year was fine, no bunnies. I have to water my flowers and chives every other day. One of my neighbors put out two water pans, high and low. All kinds of critters come to drink. Some weeds are staying green and some have died along with the grass. I had monarch butterflies earlier but nothing's flying around my milkweed now. My neighbor's container garden is doing better than my in ground stuff. Sniff...
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby rabble » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:05 pm

Image

So far the only thing that has affected us is our farming friends' misfortune. One of them was underinsured for his crops and all of them are taking a big hit.

That bug up there is a newcomer to these parts. Some of you might have noticed a great big bee/wasp thing flying around this summer, looking kinda scary. They're normally much further south. The heat has let them range into our neck of the woods.

I think this isn't the last southern species we'll see wandering around checking things out.

Killer bees, maybe? The long cold winter was the only thing keeping them out and we haven't seen many of those lately.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby bdog » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:07 pm

Excellent thread Henry.

I am happy I don't have to mow the lawn.

The dormant grass is really quite beautiful.

I see what is still very green and I think that is what is supposed to be here.

Survival of the fittest.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:18 pm

bdog wrote:I see what is still very green and I think that is what is supposed to be here.

Survival of the fittest.


A curious couple of statements. Do you have some God complex thingy going on that compells you take out loud in this way? Whatever; it's hotter and, more importantly, drier than I have ever seen it in Wisc. in my life and from stories told to me by elders who have passed. Why be a dick about it? Although if you want to get ahead of the curve plant your lawn full of prickly pears. They do pretty well around here, and should be fit to survive.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Donald » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:24 pm

I've been walking through a few nearby prairies, and they are green, but growth is less than in normal years. I would bet there will be reduced seed set in prairies. My container garden has to be watered much more this year.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Meade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:36 pm

Very few mosquitos.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:21 am

Meade wrote:Very few mosquitos.


Coincidence or do you have an aka thing going on?

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=55117#p693692

I would take 5 or 6 inches of rain right now, as the bulk of this years corn harvest in southern WI and surrounding areas of the midwest are literally going to be toast if we don't. We can divide an conquer it up again when we don't and get after them farm subsidies/crop insurance programs.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Dairylander » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:40 am

bdog wrote: I see what is still very green and I think that is what is supposed to be here.

Survival of the fittest.

I agree. I do a lot of landscaping with an emphasis on xeriscapes, and this drought has been quite an education.
Does anyone have a ground cover that is faring well? I need to find a hearty perennial to replace turf grass in medium to large spaces.
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby TeachInPeace » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:26 am

Question: how come no one in this state seems to have an irrigator? When I lived in west river South Dakota (dry like here, all summer, plus fire) it seemed like every wheat field, bean field, and even some of the rangeland had at least one irrigator - and I think I've seen a grand total of 1 on my drives around Southern Wisconsin. What gives?
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Re: How is the drought affecting you?

Postby Igor » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:46 am

TeachInPeace wrote:Question: how come no one in this state seems to have an irrigator? When I lived in west river South Dakota (dry like here, all summer, plus fire) it seemed like every wheat field, bean field, and even some of the rangeland had at least one irrigator - and I think I've seen a grand total of 1 on my drives around Southern Wisconsin. What gives?


They typically aren't needed for the crops being grown. If you travel to the central part of the state (particularly in the Stevens Point and Antigo areas) you will see many of them over the potato fields.
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