FruitAddict wrote: I did manage to find a Pallet of Sand Bags on Clearance for $15 and bought that with the plan of putting all 3,000 lbs of sand in the garden and working it into the soil for better drainage. Will this work? If I put this on the garden now right over the dead plants will it keep it from drying up quicker? Is there anything else you all would recomend that would be fairly inexpensive to work into the soil as well for better drainage?
On the bright side the weatherman says we should have 4 days in a row of no rain here!!! Yippie!!! That will be longest stretch of no rain since mid-May.
You may find, as others have posted here, that the sand will create a cement-like soil once the water goes away (maybe even during that upcoming 4-day dry spell). To improve drainage under *normal conditions,* lots of organic matter in the soil is the ticket: compost, compost, and more compost. So just dig in as much of your own compost as you can, but not while the Flood of Noah/Gilgamesh/the last Ice Age is focusing on Wisconsin.
These are not
normal conditions. Streets collapsing and sinkholes appearing in perfectly ordinary towns and cities aren't conditions in which home gardeners should expect their in-ground plants to succeed. Simple survival, of people, homes, and such will be success while 7 inches of water fall from the sky in 2 hours.
Use the sandbags ($15! great price!) to shore up your front walk, your house, whatever you need to from the encroaching waters. Let the plants go for now. Look to your home, your car, other valuables. Yes, it's painful. Yes, you worked your tail off for these plants.
But protect the house, the car, the lot first. Then create a bulwark, if any sandbags are left, for the plants. But face it--for many of us, the garden is a luxury--if we don't garden, we can still eat. Not as well as we would have, but we still have access to sufficient food. There *are* subsistence gardeners among our number, and I acknowledge that. Their gardens are essential for their sustenance and that of their families.
If I have misunderstood and you are a subsistence gardener, I am truly sorry for your situation and recommend that you start searching *now* for emergency food relief in your town / county. Put out the word, even on FreeCycle, if you are or will be in true need of sustenance or clothing. I have seen such requests on my local FreeCycle lists, and I know that they have been responded to positively, b/c I have also seen the "thank you so much" posts.
Lest you think I am simply talking through my hat, I have been through a hurricane (high school), several small quakes (nothing to worry about), and one fairly large earthquake (Loma Prieta, 5:04 p.m., Tuesday, October 17, 1989). Our house in Berkeley was flooded during the January 1983 El NiÃƒÂ±o storms. We only lost stuff, not food. We sent clothing and food about six weeks later to the Russian River flood victims; I think everyone who could, did.
I hope everything works out for you and the others in monsoon-ravaged Wisconsin.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9