Listening to home gardeners and agricultural producers alike, I’ve heard a range of rainfall that has been recorded locally since this cooler, series of rain events started a couple of weeks ago. At the time I’m writing this, the low was just over 4.5 inches cumulatively and the cumulative high was just over 12 inches. At my farm in Clawson, I’ve poured out just shy of 8 inches from my rain gauge.
And more rain is yet to come!
Who would have guessed that our predictably hot & dry summer would be broken up by so much rain, let alone some very, very pleasant temperatures?
What does this weather pattern tell foretell? Here’s what I’ve heard.
First of all, my yard is way out of hand. If I don’t get it mowed soon, I can go ahead and bale it up. Rain has given water-starved landscapes a much needed drink. Homeowners that have been seeing some huge water bills will get a big break.
We can expect to see more Fall Armyworms. Armyworms can devastate a hay meadow, some pastures and even lawns as they rapidly consume the tender, high quality grasses. Be sure to remember its name is “Fall” armyworm as we can expect these night flying grey moths to continue their, egg-laying, caterpillar growing, grass devouring cycle well into the fall.
A renewed flush of vegetative growth everywhere. Not only will livestock benefit from re-invigorated pastures, but wildlife could benefit, and beekeepers may see more wild blooming plants for their stock as hives set aside food for the winter.
A better fall showing of colorful leaves? I’ve heard many an old-timer and forester say that this weather could give an excellent fall showing with more colorful leaves. This is the one benefit that I know the least about, but surely am hopeful for.
Fall gardens should get off to a great start. With all but the okra (and a few other survivors) from the spring planted garden still producing, the rain soaked soil is ideal to work and prepare for the fall home vegetable production season. Since our historical average first frost is in mid-November, that could leave us almost 80 days to grow more warm season vegetables that can’t take a frost. I’m plotting to get a crop of pole beans and cucumbers in addition to more traditional cool season vegetables such as mustard greens.
I will expect to see an abundance of fungal problems. Fungus disease loves moisture. If you’ve seen any disease problems in your lawn or landscape earlier in the year, brace for impact. One would be wise to use a preventative fungicide (according to directions on the label) as soon as we start to dry up. Left unchecked, turf disease can ruin the best looking yard and it chooses to do most of it’s damage in the fall.
Lastly, if you are a wildlife enthusiast and planning on planting a food plot for later this fall, the abundance of moisture in the soil should get your planting off to a great. Food plots can benefit deer, turkey, dove, waterfowl, and even quail.
This abundant rain has certainly been a blessing. Across so many facets of our outdoor efforts, we are benefitting. Not that I’m complaining, but I’d rather it stop now and save some for later!