The Chicago Botanic Garden blog has just added a new post regarding the “snow drought” we are apparently experiencing here in Chicago. This makes an interesting follow-up to my last post looking back at 2012’s unsettling weather.
I had always thought that drought was something we experienced only during the growing season. Apparently, this is not the case. There are three aspects of this: lack of snow, lack of precipitation generally, and temperature.
Our part of the state is still considered to be in a condition of “moderate drought” – due to a moisture deficit that built up over the course of 2012. That deficit has not been erased, even though the last few months have brought above average precipitation.
In addition, the lack of snow cover compounds the drying effects of winter winds upon the soil. Apparently the scanty snowfall has broken a whole grab bag full of climate records. Oh, and we can probably expect a bumper crop of aphids and other garden pests next year thanks to the mild winter. Happy New Year to you, too, CBG!
According to the post, we can protect our plants with plenty of winter mulch – and even winter watering. That last leaves me a little puzzled, though, since the ground is pretty much frozen.
Anyhow, this is a worthwhile article for gardeners in Chicago and the Midwest especially. You can find it here.