Are You Suffering a Dry January?

What’s Dry January? Committing to no booze for a month after a perhaps-too-indulgent holiday season.

The dry season for our coffee, usually November through March, was slow in arriving.  Even the second week of December, it was raining lightly every late afternoon.  Then it became occasional drizzles.  Then we had a thunderstorm on the day after Christmas.  Two more dry weeks followed. The leaves on the coffee were drooping down.  When you dry farm, you’re dependent on natural rain.  We needed rain!  So many afternoons the skies would darken and you could feel the weight in the air becoming heavier, but it just wouldn’t rain. The upside is the weeds also suffered and slowed down, I got fewer mosquito bites, and the nightly coqui frog chorus was significantly quieter.

We finally got some decent rain for a couple of hours this past Saturday, exactly two weeks from the last soaking. This one wasn’t a soaker and didn’t last too long. It’s something, though.

The trees that were pruned almost a year ago look pretty good. The trees need another round of grooming, like men touching up their beards. We need to remove the little growth other than the main verticals we want to keep. The vog since winter solstice is lighter; you can see the line between ocean and sky, and the sky is blue, but not deep, clear blue.

On another note, continuing on a theme of a previous post, we bought another small fruit tree (rollinia deliciosa) to plant, this time from a plant nursery. We quarantined it on gravel, with a ring of diatomaceous powder surrounding the pot, and did the little fire ant test. This time it seems there might be LFA. Oh no!! Hubby has been fretting for days, constantly researching on the internet, going on shopping scavenger hunts for various products, trying different things and retesting, then agonizing that he’s exacerbating the situation. He heard stories from other customers at Lowe’s garden department about how problematic LFA are and how one person’s cat is going blind because of them.

He did another popsicle stick test and froze the ants. This morning we brought it into the nearby CTAHR (College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii) office, just a little over a mile away. When we walked in, the first word out of the nice lady’s mouth was, “Ants?” We’re nervously waiting for the results and advice from the local expert and hoping whatever ants we do have will die or at least not spread off the rollinia. And please don’t be LFA! This stress is one of the reasons why hubby won’t even consider a Dry January.

One thought on “Are You Suffering a Dry January?

  1. Update: the expert from CTAHR called and gave us the good news … they were NOT little fire ants. They’re the closest lookalikes. He said for pots, keep them surrounded by a moat of water with a little dish soap. If there are ants, drown the pot in the soapy water. In any case, the rollinia has now been planted in the ground, near the banana grove.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.