Drought in a Small Garden

It’s the hottest year…ever.
Massachusetts has officially entered a stage 2 drought warning.

What does that look like in a small garden?  We have managed with the three rain barrels (165 gallons) to keep the garden watered through the summer. Only once have we needed to water with the hose because there wasn’t rain for 4 weeks. We spend time every night watering by hand – each bed and planter and any other plants that look like they may need some attention.

Here is what our garden looks like in a drought – beans, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, horseradish, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, corn, hazelnuts and all of the fruit and nut trees. All on a small scale.

IMG_3607For the future, as we plan to add more beds and planters and I build a serious herb garden, we will need to add at least two more rain barrels or one, much larger way to store water. The winter will be  spent in research mode and there’s a lot to study this year.

In the meantime, we are putting water out in small dishes and bird baths for the insects, birds, toads and whatever is out there at night that needs a little drink or bath. I’ve seen dragonflies and bees land on the edge of the bowls to drink. It isn’t just a drought for us, and I’m happy to be able to put fresh rainwater out for them.

Over the past couple of days we picked quite a few cherry tomatoes and will be drying the first batch tomorrow for winter!