I live in one of the rainiest places on the Washington coast. In fact, it normally rains 201 days out of the year in my home town. This means that I typically have a very short growing season: May/June — September/October (depending on when the spring rains end and when the fall rains begin). Every year, we have a mini-drought from July to mid-September, but the moisture from the rest of the year carries us through, with a little bit of watering. Because of this, learning how to make the garden drought-tolerant has been low on my list of priorities.
This year is different. The entire state of Washington is in the biggest drought in decades. Sort of. Even though the governor declared several counties to be in a drought in May (eventually spreading to a statewide declaration), it began as a snow drought. We had normal rainfall, or maybe a little bit more, but the snow pack was much less than most years. During this early stage, the coastal areas did not have to worry much. By mid-June, however, we started seeing a slew of wildfires. And then, to make things worse, the temperature began being much warmer than usual. Earlier this week, it actually reached 102 degrees at my house. Our grass always browns out by early August, since we do not water our lawn, but this year it was brown by early June.
My plants do not know what to think about all of this. On one hand, I am getting the biggest crop of tomatoes I have ever had. On the other hand, the tomatoes are wilting.
Eventually, we will get our normal weather patterns back, and then everybody will go back to moaning and groaning about not having enough sun. Until then, however, I will stay focused on keeping everything watered.