It’s been a very dry summer–I believe I mentioned Friday that we are in moderate drought. July brought less than an inch of rain and was the second hottest July on record, (last year was the first).
So with the lack of rain, I have been trying to water very carefully–only containers and newly planted plants are getting water from me at this point. But I have rarely seen the gardens look so sad.
Take this garden for example. This is self-sown goldenrod and asters, with a few other plants added by me in a garden where a magnolia used to grow. The fact that the natives are wilting so severely in a garden that’s actually in a very wet part of my yard (usually) tells you how dry it’s been.
And I suppose I am lucky that I haven’t planted too much due to the pandemic–it would only need watering.
The things that I have planted–or that were already planted years ago–are being ravaged by “critters,” and who blames them? Between the drought and the fact that plants aren’t producing normally because of drought, things are definitely looking for food–and moisture–where they can find it.
I am lucky to scavenge tomatoes off my own two plants before something–chipmunks, probably–beat me to it. Because the tomatoes are container-planted, I can control the pest damage, somewhat.
But the other day, I came home to find a green tomato on the walk. When I turned it over, dozens of ants scurried away. Ants on a green tomato? Now you know they’re desperate for moisture!
My sage in the garden has been eaten into lacy bits. I don’t mind–I have more in a container by the door. But what on earth is so desperate that it needs to eat sage leaves? The jagged holes mean it could be anything–beetles, slugs, caterpillars (although I didn’t see any currently)–whatever.
I find that during times of drought things like katydids and earwigs, which normally just eat garden detritus, (the earwigs, I mean) resort to eating “good” parts of plants as well.
And when I was watering the other night, a grasshopper jumped out at me from between 2 containers. Just what I need: a plague of locusts in a pandemic!