It's been a crazy kind of spring. 80 degrees during the day and wake up to 31 degrees, the next day? Watching the rain on the radar coming towards us, only to go around and missing us. Which seems to be the norm, most of the time. So we've been irrigating several times during each week since planting. In fact as soon as we plant a row, we hook up the drip lines and turn on the water. If we miss this step the crops will go into shock. The irrigation helps in growing the plants and producing a good crop. But it is never the same as rain. Last Saturday we received a little rain and on Wednesday we received even more. Wow, the crops really responded to the rain. No comparison.
As you can see in the slide show, the crops are grown on plastic mulch. The mulch helps retain the moisture in the ground and block most weeds. I've grown without it before but it's a lot more work to keep the weeds out and we use double the water. It also blocks some of the rain from saturating the root zone. So it's not perfect but I've seen the mulch save the crops from drowning when we get a year's worth of rain in a couple of days, remember a couple of years ago? When we get at least a half inch of rain, it's enough to give the crops a good drink. In just 1 day after the rain, the crops grew several inches taller and bushed out. I couldn't believe it.
I don't know if it's because I'm from South Louisiana, where it rains a lot, or because I've been farming so long. But when we go through a few weeks without rain, I start to get depressed. Nothing drastic but enough that I can notice the difference in my mood. Then when it starts to rain, let's just say I've been known to do a jig in the rain! It's just something about it that makes me happy. The smell of it approaching, the smell of it falling and of course afterwards. Rain is a good thing!
We can supplement it to keep everything watered and growing but it will never replace what God made. As the summer season approaches let's keep praying that we keep receiving rain. And be Thankful for when it does.