August 8th, 2003
The Heat Is On

When you’re hot, you’re hot.

Well, it’s that time of year again: day after day of triple-digit highs. Yesterday it reached 108 degrees at Camp Mabry. That broke the 50-year record for the day. Yesterday was the hottest day this year–until today, that is.

Today, at 2:12PM, the temperature reached 110 degrees at Camp Mabry. That’s a record high for August, and it tied with for second-hottest day ever recorded in Austin, 110 degrees on September 4, 2000. Austin’s all time high was 112 on September 5, 2000.

A freakish thunderstorm brought 2 minutes of rain to my garden, but at least the rain is supposed to break the streak of triple-digit highs.

So what do I do in the garden this time of year? I hole up inside, making plans for the fall garden, updating this garden website, and reading garden books and catalogs for consolation and inspiration–same as northern gardeners do when their snowed in for the winter.

I do a bit of hand-watering each day between 7AM and 9AM, weeding and straightening up as I go. I have to aerate the mulch as I go or it forms a hard crust that doesn’t let the water soak in under it. But the yard definitely has a weedy, seedy, neglected look which defies you to find a garden in it.

by M Sinclair Stevens

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