Tropical Tuesday

I live on an island I can drive to. All of our water comes down a big pipe from the United States. We can turn our water heaters off in the summer because the sunlight adds plenty of heat on its way south.

Less than three-quarters of an inch of rain has fallen on Key West since January 27. Even the smattering of rain that fell a couple of weeks ago as part of the mini-tornado that uprooted a neighbor’s tree brought no relief to our arid islands.

The South Florida Water Management District has a Flash front page. Too bad for visitors from the green and crunchy Appleland.

“Persistent rainfall in the upcoming wet season is needed to replenish groundwater, canal and lake levels,” the SFWMD reports. “Meteorologists have predicted drought conditions will extend into the beginning of the wet season.”

Water Shortage Modified Phase XXVII restrictions are in place. Watering is not allowed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The odd-numbered street addresses may water lawns and landscapes on Wednesdays and Saturday, midnight – 10 a.m. or 4 p.m. – midnight. The even-numbered street addresses and peeps with no street address have Thursdays and Sundays.

I don’t know quite how you can have plantings that need irrigation with no street address.

New landscaping, sod, or other plantings can be watered without restriction on the first day, then on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays during the 4 p.m. – 10 a.m. hours for the first month as it gets established.

Landscape irrigation using reclaimed water is not restricted.

For years, the Ixora under my carport got watered weekly by the output of the washing machine so they became tolerant of feast and famine. Pumping that much water under the foundation of the house has made me a little nervous so I bought a modern washer that uses 3.2 cups of water per year. The bushes suddenly look mighty thirsty. I may have to take in some neighborhood laundry.

Meanwhile, I moved the old washer across to the other side of the carport and plumbed its outfeed down to the lawn. I put it out there so Rufus would have someplace to bathe. The end of the drainpipe hides under the hedgelike hawthorn at the corner of the lawn. Turns out the scorpion family hides under the hawthorn at the corner of the lawn, too.

Rufus learned that when one scampered across his foot after he ran the washer. Scorpions apparently don’t like floods.

Rufus was not amused.

George Poleczech says his manor lawn is suffering from the drought. “I’m also doing my part by erecting wooden sunshades to protect the plantings and by peeing in the yard,” he wrote. He has his favorite bush.

“It is not looking well lately.”

My advice: Add a little branch to balance the pH.

The rainy season officially begins tomorrow.

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