rain at runamuk

rain at runamukIt’s been dry this season. Abnormally dry for Maine. Frighteningly so. Beachgoers and anyone who does not have a connection with the natural world around them are happy, I’m sure. But farmers and gardeners across the state have lamented.

Getting crops to germinate in this season’s fluctuating temperatures was a challenge for many growers; it was hot and then cold and then hot, and then cold. Then once plants did sprout, keeping them watered consumed us. Making sure critters have access to water has been a daily focus for many farmers, and here at Runamuk we make multiple trips across the road in the heat of the day to the barn to ensure our chickens and bunnies have plenty of water.

But this morning I awoke in the early darkness to the sound of rain. Water, that giver of life, so essential to the natural world, to every living creature, falling from the sky. Rain! I breathed a sigh of relief and drifted back to sleep, waking again when the dawn of a new day had lightened the world to reveal a grey sky. And still the rain fell.

How joyous this morning! To see that rain falling from above. Soaking the earth, soaking my gardens, every plant I’m sure is sucking it up, guzzling rain as a man who just walked days across a barren, sunbeaten desert might do upon reaching that hidden oasis. Drink, my lovelies. Drink it up and revel in the beauty and glory of rain.

4 thoughts on “Rain!

  1. Would love it if you had any pointers on growing cucumbers and tomatoes.. I also wanted to start growing broccoli, is that hard to do? I grow peppers and lettuce and have enough to share with the mission here but I always seem to only get a few cucumbers and tomatoes on and off. I am trying red onions for the first time this year and hope they come thru. Glad you got some rain. I live in Georgia and we have had rain for a week straight now. 3 hrs. in the afternoon. It is still 90 during the day though.

    1. Hi Gail, both cucumbers and tomatoes are heat loving crops that should do well for you in Georgia. If you’re struggling with them I advise using black plastic (just be sure to use drip irrigation and lay that before you cover the beds with plastic, else water will not reach the plants’ roots!) to help heat the soil around the plants, which also has the benefit of keeping the weeds at bay. Both are heavy-feeders, so be sure to use a shovelful of composted manure in the bottom of the hole before you plant. Prune off suckers on tomatoes, and stake them up to keep them off the ground, preventing disease from soil-born pathogens. Ensuring all plants have plenty of space allows for proper nutrient access and also ventilation, which again can reduce instance of disease. For tomatoes: 2-3 feet between plants. For cucumbers 4-6 ft between rows or mounds. I always use fish emulsion as a top dressing after transplanting, and as the plants are setting flowers. THis is a foliar feeding, meaning it is absorbed by the plant through their leaves, so apply it to their leaves. It gives them a nice boost of nitrogen at critical growth points. You can also look for disease-resistant hybrid varieties (hybrid does not mean genetically modified), and varieties bred for increase yields. Be sure to watch for cucumber beetles early on for your cucumber plants, picking them in the early morning has always proven the best strategy for me.

      Broccoli is not necessarily difficult to grow, but definitely tends to do better when grown in the early spring or the fall, since brassicas are cool-weather loving crops. They also require plenty of water. Hope this helps!!!

      1. Thanks, I do get tomatoes but only a few at a time.. I will try the fish stuff. I might be growing my cucumbers too close together.. I will do it farther apart. I will give the broccoli a chance.. You’ve been a lot of help.

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