Sunday, August 5, 2012


UPDATE:  We recently returned from a 12-day road trip.  I don't remember where we were, but I quickly noticed (as we drove by) the front yard that had several trees planted in it.  At the base of every one of these trees they had a large bucket.  I immediately remembered this tip that I had posted last year and thought it deserved to be revisited.  It is a great idea for slow releasing water to your trees when you aren't receiving rain on a regular basis.  Hope you will scroll down and see the tip at the bottom.

Oh poor garden....oh poor flowers and trees.  The most recent drought reports for MO is that 93% of the state is considered extreme or even worst -- exceptional....the highest state in the nation.  

The weather stats for July according to 41 action weather are staggering.  KCI, the airport, is the official weather location for Kansas City.  We live close enough to the airport to consider the weather stats for KCI as our own.  For the month of July, KCI airport reached 100 degrees or higher 14 times.  It was 90 degrees or higher 29 of the 31 days.  The average July temperature is 90 degrees for the high.  Three out of the last five years never had a day in July that reached 100 degrees.  2012 had 14, 2011 had 4, and 2010-1008 had none.  Average rainfall for the month of July is 4.45 inches.  KCI received 0.49 inches.

I have seen my garden go from this on June 6th:

(Gosh even the grass looks's GREEN!)

To this (taken July 12th)....

My poor zucchini...

But the grass still looks green.....

Back to this (taken the next day) after I watered it forever...

 To this....taken today....

I think the zucchini is really gone this time.  I have watered and watered it and the part in the middle of the picture just isn't responding.  There is one little piece you can barely see close to the boards, but I just don't know.  I have to be thankful for the 6 zucchinis the plants produced this year.  That is 6 more than I got last year.

In our back yard we have a HUGE silver maple shades a good 3/4ths of the fenced back yard.  It produces a LOT of leaves in the fall.  Looking at the yard for the last week, you would think it is fall....except that the leaves on the ground aren't a pretty yellow color because they are all dead....You crunch when you walk in the yard.  Here is what it looks like 

Along our driveway we have a row of burning bushes.  They are always so pretty and red in the fall.  I am afraid they aren't going to this year.  Here is how they look today.

Last night at Dinner Club, the topic of discussion was often the current situation with the weather.  I was talking to Carey at one point and he told me about his neighbor and what she was doing to water her trees so that the water would soak down in the ground.  Our ground is SO HARD that I knew I was going to have to give it a try.  Our ground is so hard that even when you turn the water on really slowly, the water puddles and runs off before it has time to soak in.
Here is the tip:


Here is a great tip for watering trees and plants slowly so that the water soaks into the ground to the roots.

I took a large flower pot (Carey said his neighbor had a 5 gal bucket....I didn't have one, but the flower pot probably holds 3.5 to 4 gal) and my husband drilled a half inch hole in the bottom.

I placed the pot at the base of my tulip tree....(I'm concerned it may not live...People are saying trees planted 3 years or less have a good chance of not surviving.) and filled it with water.  I was happy with the results of watering.  It did empty in about 10 - 15 minutes, but the water wasn't running off from the tree.  I filled it twice.

Next I moved it to a red bud tree that my husband planted earlier in the spring.  The ground here is probably the hardest. Ever time we water the tree, the water just puddles and runs off down the sidewalk.  I realized that the hole was probably too big for this location so I first tried putting some rocks in the bottom, but it still came out too fast.  

After trying several different things, I finally plugged the hole with a little bit of cotton ball.  This worked really well. It's hard to tell from the picture, but there is still a little water in it and you can just barely see the white in the center.  I kept experimenting with a different amount of cotton in the hole to release the amount of water I wanted it to. I am now "watering" some other plants.

If the water is coming out faster than you would like for it to. just experiment with different measure to slow the  release.  Your yard may be different than mine.

This is a great tip for slow releasing water. And it's great for us....because we are terrible about getting busy and forgetting to move the water hose or turn it off when we leave the water running outside on the plants.  I know we could set the timer, but my husband always wants to water longer than the time I want to set the timer for.  He'll say, "Let's give it a little bit more water."  and then we get busy and forget.  This way he can see how much water the plant is actually getting and he is happy. 

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