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rainbowgardener
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Yeah the temps are fine (MUCH milder than July was!).... there's still a limit to how much watering I can do. I never water the lawn anyway and this year I have quit watering flower beds and a lot of other stuff, just because I felt too guilty pouring all that good drinkable water out. All I'm doing now is trying to save the veggies and a few shrubs.

Panicle dogwood tree that's probably at least 70 years old is dying in the drought, but it would take SO much water to save it.
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Ozark Lady
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I am about to go mulch, the entire pasture, it is a dust bowl, now if I get rain, all the 'topsoil' will run off. I can't use the moldy hay for this, due to the animals being on it, but, I can use fresh hay that they have just wasted, to try to save some soil.

I am taking the moldy hay, and putting it all on any empty garden beds. It will not break down when dry, but it will prevent the soil there from blowing or washing away.

We had almost no rain in June, or July, and in August so far we got .24 inches, that's right less than 1/4" of rain. One day in the rest of the months forecast we have a 30% chance for rain. Temperatures have just been normal for us. Our normal rainfall for June and July is 3-4" not what we got! August is usually dry, but not usually following 2 dry months.

At least, I don't have weed issues between the beds in my garden, the grass there dried up and died.

I have been watering daily. And the plants aren't growing so great, so now I am watering twice a day, less per time, but more often, and the plants are responding and looking better. But, you can only water so much, so I am limited.

I lost the peaches, I did water the trees, but never enough to equal what a good rain would have done. So most of them just shrivelled up on the tree. But, I am managing to save both fruit trees.

2 tomato plants have have proven themselves, and a third is close behind them.... OSU blue, and Hillbilly are loaded with healthy fruit, pink oxheart is in spurts. Peach Blow Sutton is loaded with fruits but they keep getting BER due to not enough water. The others are barely producing at all. Now that those containers are on morning and evening watering, maybe they will do better. And Hillbilly lost every leaf to an early hornworm, and has recovered to take the lead in production, quantity and size.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

tedln
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We just received the leading edge of a thunderstorm. It is moving from Oklahoma into North Texas. It came in with a bang. Lots of thunder and lightning and torrential rain. Looking at the radar, it shouldn't last long, but another really large cloud is back in Oklahoma. It could be about over or it could last all day. The nice thing is it brings needed water and cooler temps which hopefully means fall is not that far away.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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applestar
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Ozark Lady, I described this for someone else, but I actually originally came up with the idea for you -- just never had the opportunity to post it as such because each time, it seemed not quite to fit the thread subject.

With all the rocks that you have, I think you might try "mulching" with rocks. The rocks will keep the available moisture from evaporating, shade the roots from the hot sun, and condense any atmospheric and soil surface moisture and, when sufficient, will drip them back into soil.

Even a nurse rock next to each plant might help. Toil and I had a conversation about the nursing/growth supporting effect of rocks earlier in the spring when he observed trees growing huddled next to every rock/boulder in the woods.

tedln
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Thats a good idea applestar. I had also noticed the rock/tree relationship in the woods. My thoughts were the rock must hold snow on one side longer allowing deeper watering as it melts, leaves blow up against the rock and create a deeper mulch over a period of time, tree seed must land against the rock and the rock prevents it moving further, the rock may provide some shade from the hot sun after the tree seed germinates, because the rock is a larger heat sink than the surrounding soil, it moderates temperature swings between night time lows and daytime highs. I had also noticed rocks seem to retain some moisture around them in hot weather longer than the soil away from the rock, it may be condensate if the rock temperature and air dew point are optimum.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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Ozark Lady
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

That is a fantastic idea, especially for trees.
My fruit trees were planted just in the ground, but they kept having roots get uncovered. So, I built small boxes around the trees, these I fill with dirt, and usually some small blooming plants, but the chickens love to dust bathe there. So, all the dirt is scratched out, constantly. I end up putting it back, and then just using boards over the beds to keep the dirt in there. But, hey rocks, why didn't I think of that?

I have decided to gather all the rocks that I can, they look like the ones on a gravel road, but these are my "lawn". Anyhow, I decided to dig a foundation for a new milking room and milk processing area, of 8x16 and once I dig it down alot, just making a drain off from it to the pond, so when I hose it down... it fills the pond a little bit and feeds the algae that feeds the... you know. My goats do not potty in the milking area, so it will mostly be hay and feed bits left over and a couple squirts of milk and lots of water from cleaning milking equipment. But, if I put a pipe in it needs the rocks under it, and to pour the cement pad, I need rocks... aha uses for rocks.

Then I will have to cover the "lawn" with used hay to hold the soil, since it is a hillside. The chickens will have a field day scratching it all around.
Once winter hits, and rains return or in January when we start getting snow, I will pen up the chickens and goats, and reseed all the grass.

Boy, this drought is causing me alot of extra work! But, I just have to save the soil!

The pond is barely damp:

[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2923_phixr.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2891_phixr.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2884_phixr.jpg[/img]
What are the eating rocks?
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2903_phixr.jpg[/img]
This plant does survive, but nothing likes it, I can't Id it. It is square stems so mint, basil, nettle family, but what is it?
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2904_phixr.jpg[/img]
Goats are still fat, due to hay, alfalfa and grain. Also water is in troughs, not the pond.
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2888_phixr.jpg[/img]
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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rainbowgardener
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DROUGHT!

Our weather forecast still looks exactly the same, all the way out to 9/8 now.... no rain, no rain. This is cruel. Everything is drying up, the big old TREES have their leaves all wilted/droopy. We probably haven't had an inch of rain total since June. Normal would be around 6" in that time....
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tomf
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It rained and it was enough to make puddles. We have not had any real rain since the 4th of July week end.

tedln
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I'm not bragging, but would you believe 4" in three days. It did come down so hard and fast that a lot ran off, but some soaked in.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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