It’s been a hot and dry start to 2012. January through March has been one of the hottest on record, and it’s also been dry. On the other hand April and early May have turned a bit cooler than normal, although it remains dry. So many things are coming in weeks early, but then some things froze mid-April, including the Apples, Pears, and Blueberries. June temps soared, though, with a number of 100 degree days. Officially it’s been the hottest first 6 months on record for the state of Illinois, and the 6th driest according to the Illinois State Climatologist.
We have four 50 gallon rain barrels and by early May had drained them twice already and had to resort to using sprinklers and city water to supplement watering the vegetables. Had 2″ of rain May 6, then no rain until 1/2″ on May 20th. By May 15 drained the barrels again. Through June and into July have now started watering 2 1/2 hours every 5-7 days, especially during the strings of 90 and 100 degree days. I’ve placed water gauges around the garden to measure and it seems 2 1/2 hours is giving me about 1″ of water.