Drought Conditions Cause Trouble for Gardeners

(ABC 6 News) – It’s no secret farmers have been facing a lot of challenges with drought conditions this summer, but gardeners are struggling as well.

Flower and vegetable gardens have had a hard time keeping up due to the lack of rainfall. Not only can it result in a loss of profit due to fewer flowers, but it also means that labor costs are on the rise too.

Melissa and Brandon Delaney are the Garden Center Manager & Landscape Manager.

“We do run our irrigation twice a day, the leaves just don’t get as much water as they should. So, we still have to hand water three-and-a-half to four hours,” Melissa Delaney said.

“We’ve got someone who has to come in on the weekends when we’re not even open and come and water,” Brandon Delaney said.

People have set-ups to provide moisture to the plants, and according to Deborah Majerus, her plants are more drought tolerant.

“I happened to pick a very dry summer to put them in, so we’ve been having to hand water them quite a bit,” said Majerus.

Majerus said she needs about two-and-a-half to three hours to water her whole garden.

Thunderstorms bring rain that we need to get out of this drought, although they can’t be too strong. Severe thunderstorms earlier this week produce quarter sized hail in Albert Lea and golf ball sized hail in Medford. These hailstones can cause significant damage.

“That large of hail would be devastating; we’d lose a crop just like any other farm. It’s our income for this part of our life,” Majerus explained.

Wednesday’s rainfall was a welcome sight for these gardeners.

“It’s so great, we were literally doing a happy dance when it started raining,” Majerus explained.

“I think we should take the rest of the day off cause we don’t have to do anything today,” Brandon Delaney said.

There are more opportunities for rain in the next week, but we still have a long way to go before we get out of the drought conditions we’ve been experiencing the past couple months.