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View Diary: Well it's getting drier again (69 comments)

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  •  Continuing drought here on the N Plains too (9+ / 0-)

    Will be 65 in central SD today which is just plain weird.  My rain barrels were dry all summer. Unlike hurricanes or tornadoes, drought is just insidious.  After watching the excellent PBS documentary on the Dust Bowl, I thought "here we go again", we learned nothing and the land will rebel against us.  Here the growth of grain bins has been incredible.  More land being plowed, tile drained, shelter belts being removed to grow that extra row of corn.  I watered my trees all summer long, and as recently as last month, as signs of stress were showing on my spruces.  Neighbors that haven't watered, their trees are dead and dying.  I just wonder who's the bigger fool, them or I?

    •  I asked myself the same question these last (8+ / 0-)

      2 summers.

      Consider ordering your seeds from heirloom seed savers in New Mexico. We may need that kind of desert tolerance to grow anything through this drought.

      This is one of the sites I am checking out for my garden next year. Even drought tolerant varieties are struggling.

    •  Trying to get your trees through the dry times (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayDean, GreenMother, RWood, Creosote

      is the best you can do. Trees are so valuable to all life.

      If the trees all die, we'll be living in deserts.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:20:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plant some mesquite (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, GreenMother, joanil

        I know they are more typical of West Texas and the Llano Estacado, but if you want hardy trees that can stand the coming changes in climate, maybe it's time to bring them to your area.

        Mesquite can support quite a range of wildlife.  The blooms are popular with bees, the leaves can be browsed by ruminants (carefully, given the thorns), and the seed pods were valued by the Native Americans who collected them before the rodents got to them.  They have about the deepest taproot found in the plant kingdom, so they can seek out what water is available.  In the driest parts of West Texas and New Mexico, they are more shrublike, but in arroyos and places where they can find water, they make a good size tree.  And if a fire should come through, they are tough and can resprout even when the tree has been burned to the ground.  Another added benefit is that they are a legume, and so they fix their own nitrogen and make it available to other plants when they drop their leaves.

        We really can't head off the coming climate change; it's going to require both mitigation AND adaptation.  Part of that adaptation is to actively plant species from hotter and drier areas in the hopes that they can prevent Dust Bowl conditions from happening.  

        Another good tree to try is the pecan.  They do well in the hot and dry of southeast New Mexico, but there they do require irrigation because they need more than the usual 10"-15" of annual rainfall.

        •  I had been thinking the same thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I have been toying with the notion of planting them around a large garden area for dappled shade.

          Also I will be planting some rows of yucca and prickly pear, for roots and fruits.

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