Saturday night (August 25th) it finally rained. Not much of a rain, only about an inch, but it came gently and all soaked in. The following day, another three quarters of an inch or so was added to that, settling the dust here at my place for the first time in well over a month, even though people living one mile east of me claim to have had more rain than that on three or four occasions during that time.. Strange how much difference a mile makes in the weather.
All through this extremely hot and dry summer, I have been carrying water to the plants with no hope of making them produce, just hoping to keep them alive in anticipation of a cool rain. Please do not doubt that I have often been discouraged, disgusted, exhausted, depressed and down right angry at the sometimes obvious futility of carrying so much water for what might well be nothing. I had begun to count the myth of rain and cool temperatures right up there with Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. One question became always present. "IS IT REALLY WORTH WATERING UNTIL THE RAIN COMES?"
When the weather finally cooled a little, my hope was renewed somewhat, but it certainly didn't leave time to rest from watering. My special "pets", the pumpkin vines, had been being watered every day while the other plants were on a two or three day rotation. With cooler temperatures, the pumpkin vines began to look better and actually grow a bit. The Saturday night and Sunday rain made all the difference. The vines burst into growth and began to bloom. Taking no chances on bees and other insects (and I am normally a major advocate of letting nature take its course) I made certain the first female bloom was thoroughly pollinated. This was done on Monday afternoon.
The pictures (taken Thursday evening) do not do justice to the results. The largest of the small pumpkins is now a bit larger than a softball, and the vines are going wild with growth and blooms. Today,, so far we have had heavy mist and light showers all morning, and there is hope of heavier rain through the rest of the day and tonight into tomorrow, thanks to the hurricane turned tropical depression passing nearby.
So for the question of whether or not watering and hoping were worth it, Right now it feels like a resounding YES. With not only the pumpkins doing so well, but also tomatoes and peppers blooming again, I am glad I watered enough to keep them all alive until the rain came. As an added bonus, the green beans and summer squash I planted Saturday, just before the rain, are up and today's moisture should get them off o a good start. With a little good fortune, the cupboard will be stocked from the garden this winter.