Hi Guys, I know im new here but would like to add my 2 cents.
First of all everyone south of Ohio, I am at a loss of words. I live in upstate NY and I too have been getting a little worried about the weather. We are not getting the extreem heat so far but the lack of rain is starting to take affect. If we see extreme temps also well we all will be in the same boat.
It is very interesting what happened when you tilled your soil Latt, I often wondered what the weight of the snow on tilled woodland soils would do. Have you ever tamped gravel ? I think it may have the same affect as what you experianced. If others have found this to be true please speak up and save the rest of us years of trial and error.....
Well I finally got my account back so I could chat with you guys, lol I have felt helpless untill today just watching all of this and not being able to contribute.
rfugle, welcome. I think tilling in the woods is completely different than tilling in a shade garden out of the woods in a clay based soil. Tilling in a clay based soil refines the soil into a finer soil with less air pockets. When that fine soil sets up it is void of air pockets after it settles and becomes hard like concrete.
I know of folks that till in the woods and the soil does not set up hard like it does in a yard or field.
Thanks for the input.
Follow up report:
Fellows, I decided to go fishing on the South Holston River this morning because I had watered all of my wood lots and everything seemed to be taken care of on my end. I knew that it stormed at the house some last night , but when I arrived on the South Holston River I began looking at some plantings close by and the effects of the drought and then the storm last night was something to behold. First of all the drought had gotten so bad that the trees looked like Fall in October. They were turning red, yellow and orange from drought stress. As I drove farther up the river I began to notice trees, limbs, and leaves all over the highway. It looked like a tornado had come through!
The farther I went, the worse it got. I could barely get through in some places and there were crews working every where. The weather had apparently dropped the barometric pressure a lot and I did not even get a strike, so I decided to come back toward some areas farther south and check some more plantings. I was in a section very close to the N.C. line and again, there was a lot of damage. When I got close to the section where my plantings were the hills turned green and everything looked great. I could not believe the difference. Somehow, they had gotten some rains and everything was green and growing. YaaHoo! I don't know how that happened but I took pictures and as soon as I get my good computer back, I'll post them. Suffice it to say: I am a happy man.
I have one more that is sort of special for me, of the little 2 prongs that I tranplanted a few years ago, this one is the largest and it was going to have a nice little wad of berries this year, but it is just standing there 99.9% dead looking.
Only thing still green is the berry stem. I don't suppose there is any change the berries will still develop ?
Not sure, but I am watering it anyway just to see what happens.
Of those little transplant 3 prongs that have died early - I am marking them so I can dig them up later and move down lower on the hillside some. Perhaps that will help when these extreme hot / dry spells come.
In that same location, just a few feet away, the is a little rise (a bank, with a log on top) and I have these two little 3's planted just at the base of that rise. That has them protected a little better from the evening sun (basically get no evening sun) where the others were getting some.
They are doing OK now after I have watered a few times. They bounced back nicely.
Now here are a few pics from my seed producing bed.
I have waterd them 3 times since this bad spell kicked in and the first time they were really stressed out. Leaves just hangind straight down. I watered them yesterday evening and today around 1:30 I took these pics. It was 98 degrees at the time and they were looking decent.
The ones at the top of the bed are obviously more stressed out (some yellowing) than the ones lower in the bed.
Here are a few more flower spike / berry pics and notice what is working the flowers.
That little greenish brown bee I mentioned in a earlier post. I have seen that type of bee just about every time I checked them out while flowers are blooming. No doubt that may be one of the common ginseng flower pollinators...
He was visiting all of the flower spikes, over and over.
Notice the berry on that spike = 3 lobes, going to have 3 seeds in that berry.