Drought – Minnesota Style

Back in the day … our kids were babies … we had a drought, the railroad was laying off people and the local economy in Havre, Montana, was not good. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) owned 600 houses and was selling them cheap. Property values were dropping fast. Businesses were retrenching and folks were selling out and leaving town. That’s how I remember what a drought looks like. At least up in Montana.

In Minnesota, here in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, we are some distance from the agricultural economy. We know from lawns and gardens. I have very little of the former. A lot more of the latter. And we have a lot of trees on our property. The sun rises and gives us a cloudless day every day. The temperature rises to the 90s and then cools off in the evening. It is beginning to feel like Havre, Montana.

What doesn’t get watered, dies. 

So right now I am watering my hedge in the front. I had neglected one of the front gardens while my attention was focused elsewhere and the plants started turning brown. There is a bush in my back yard that somehow must have been out of the typical arc of watering because its leaves are wilted. It may well be gone though I soaked it last night and this morning. All of the volunteers growing in the dog run on the side aren’t growing anymore. They are brown and crisp.

Welcome to Desert Minnesota.

We’ve sort of given up on the boulevard grass. We try and keep some of it going in selected areas but there is just too much square footage to keep going with a measly little 5/8 inch garden hose. When I finish bucking up the front yard vegetation I have to haul the big hose around so I can water the Fry Street gardens including a new one we’re working on right now. It’s constant. But I know that all of this soaking style watering I’m doing is reaching tree routes. And our trees, a few of which I’m guessing were planted by soldiers from Fort Snelling when the military road went through here, are looking reasonably good. No shortage of sun. 

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