The rain did not stay gone for long. Normally, this would be very welcome rain water for our garden, grapevines, peach trees, and our fields of green. However, we all know that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and that is where we are at today. Oklahoma has received record breaking rainfall in May and it’s not letting up anytime soon.
What can too much water do? It can water log roots, cause root rot, fungus and disease. Extreme wet weather, as we have had, keeps pollinators away too. Over watered plants will often exhibit yellowing and dropping leaves, wilt, leaf spots, and death. When the roots are water logged their oxygen supply is cut off and they can’t draw nutrients from the soil.
If you have good drainage you may be able to avoid this. Our garden is on a slight slope and we created mounds for planting which has helped with the drainage. However we have had little sunshine and the ground is simply not drying out. I have big green plants with a few flowers and no fruit. We can’t control nature, just learn to adapt.
Sanitation is the number one cultural technique to manage or prevent disease. Remove and burn any diseased leaves or fruit from not only the tree or plant, but from the surrounding ground as well. Avoid pruning or harvesting until the foliage has dried off. Remove any diseased parts of the plants when you see them. Bag and dispose of them or burn them.
I have not noticed any signs of disease yet but my strawberries are rotting on the vine. Fortunately, we harvested quite a bit so far. If it dries out a little and we see some sunshine we could potentially get another crop out of them.
The grape vines are most concerning as there is little we can do about them and they are a much bigger investment than our veggies. They are planted in a place with good drainage so all we can really do is wait and see. It takes a few years before the vines produce grapes that we can use. We have two rows that will be ready next year, to lose them now is to lose two years of work and waiting.
I checked on my garden yesterday and plants are starting to wilt. This is not a good sign. If the rain would stop right now and we had several days of dry, sunny weather, it might pull out. Sadly, the forecast is calling for more rain over the next 4-5 days. I am preparing myself for losing my Summer garden and just start planning the Fall garden.
My tomato plants look like this:
It may be sad and frustrating, but this is an opportunity to learn and improve our system. Oklahoma typically experiences hot and humid Summers with fair to little amounts of rain. We have been in a drought for five years.
Drought is over! That’s the good news.