I don't think Christina ("burnt veggies") needs to take a soil sample
from her garden to her extension service to tell her what her soil
needs, because what it needs is water. The Southeast and much of the
MidSouth have been in a critical drought situation for a while now.
(Remember the message from Atlanta a few days ago?) It is really
debilitating and depressing. My area of Arkansas is doing okay, but my
folks, who are farmers in Louisiana, are in pretty bad shape. Ponds in
central Louisiana have dried up; even the coastal marshes are much, much
drier than usual.
There was an extensive article on the regional drought in the New York
Times about three weeks ago. Sorry, I didn't save it, but anybody
interested could probably track it down. It said that drought can be as
devastating as a hurricane or some other natural disaster, but because
it comes on so slowly it doesn't tend to get the media attention or
emergency disaster response--i.e., what's the point at which it's
officially declared a drought?
I sensed in some of the responses a sort of "if you did things
differently this wouldn't be happening!" attitude. Sure, Christina and
others of us need to be coached on gardening in arid conditions--and we
may all be needing that as water tables drop everywhere--but remember
that what's happening is really extreme, and overturns the efficacy of
gardening practices that have produced bountiful gardens for seasons
upon seasons. It is really a frustrating situation.
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