YOUR HOMETOWN GARDENER

It’s June and we are still very wet and mild. I did read 96 on our thermometer at the nursery yesterday before it started raining. Right now, it is 74 at 2 PM Sunday, June 2nd. After three consecutive rounds of T’storms yesterday and overnight there was still some light rain in the area at noon today when I checked radar.

I just took a drive around the neighborhood. Our “mosquito pond” is full and running over. Antelope Creek is running hard and near full but not over the road yet. The Wichita River has been out of its banks since this time last week but had dropped back some. Some of my neighbors had evacuated last week but the road was dry today, so I assume everybody got back home alright.

There is a 30% chance of rain before Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday are forecast at 20% but Wednesday shows an increase to 50%. This could lead to more flooding. All we can do is hope that it doesn’t. June is typically our highest rainfall average. Yesterday and overnight put near 2 ½” in my rain gauge at the house. It has been phenomenal. Every month so far this year has been above average and often as not we have managed the normal average during the first week of the month.

Gardening has been exceptionally easy for us this year. I have done some things that I have never done before this spring. For instance, I have planted seed and transplants before the rain. The transplants got one quick watering, but the seed were just put in the ground and I walked away knowing a good rain was on the way.

We have a lady in Iowa Park that had been waiting patiently for ground temps to warm up enough for us to plant buffalo grass in her backyard. Two weeks ago, on a Friday, Bailey Gray and I tilled the yard and planted a buffalo/blue grama seed mix. We did not water it in at all. We got 1 ½” that night. A week went by and the following Friday we went back to see tiny green sprouts all over the yard. She had not watered at all as she had three episodes of rain that week. This week she came by the shop and reported the sprouts getting bigger and everything fine. She still has not watered at all.

Back in February I received two bare root pluots (plum/apricot cross) from a buddy who had driven down to Stephenville to pick up some special fruits he wanted. I put them in the ground and poured a 5 gal. bucket on each tree and have not watered them since. They look great right now.

Events such as these are not just rare, they are totally unheard of… I have never ever planted lawn grass without carefully watering it in before I left the job site. Bare root trees are especially risky and generally need a lot of watering to kick start. Normally I have to carry extra water to seedling veggies to make certain they don’t dry out. Nonetheless, this is all irrefutably true. What a year!!

We should be seeing combines and grain trucks coming through our area pretty soon. Let us hope first of all that there is good grain to harvest and secondly that the weather dries enough to let us get in the field to harvest. If not, we all will see some negative impacts to our local economy.

Flooding has devastated much of the Great Plains and as far south as Houston. Many are homeless and jobless due to flooding, especially farmers and ranchers. The weather guys say this has been the wettest year in recorded history for the collective lower 48 states. If it comes our turn to deal with a similar disaster, we have no choice but to endure. Best case scenario is that we can use our good fortune to send aid to those in need. I sincerely hope that will be the case.

While the wet, muddy ground has kept us from keeping pace with our landscaping jobs, it has made things look mighty fine at the nursery. We have managed pretty well using collected rainwater instead of having to rely on our irrigation systems and pay for city water. We had a pretty good day selling plants this Saturday. Thank you Texoma!

In a few more weeks we will see the summer solstice and officially the end of spring. So, the question in my mind is how far this mild and wet spring will carry us. While June is typically our wettest month, July is one of the driest. Going on my saying that “once we are wet we tend to stay wet, and once dry we tend to stay dry,” I am hoping the wet but not flooded weather continues. For those who need us to do some landscaping, please bear with us. We are doing the best we can as the weather permits. Planting is an act of faith. Gardeners by nature are optimistic people. Sometimes, and often enough, things do work in our favor. Come see us!!

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