Over the past week, it was great (for some) to see rain make it's way through the area and the State of Michigan. It definitely was not enough to get us out of the drought which continues to become a problem for gardeners and landscapers looking to keep everything looking nice.

Depending on where you live in the Battle Creek area, there was anywhere between .65 inches (northern Battle Creek) to .41 inches of rain (at the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field). The total amount of rain in the month of May concluded with 1.01 inches, almost 3 1/2 inches less than average for the month based on the last 25 years. On top of that, we are now short of eight inches of precipitation below normal.

As you can see from the drought monitor below, not much has changed other than the moderate drought returning to Michigan's southeast. Comparing it to last week, it is surprising that more areas in the state have not progressed worse. Don't be surprised if the monitor next week progresses to, especially with the severe drought in West Michigan.

The Michigan Drought Monitor as of May 27, 2021. (Adam Hartman - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
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Now for the bad news. We're not expected much rain over the next two weeks and temperatures will remain well above normal heading into mid-June. The average amount of precipitation for June in Battle Creek area (based on 25 years) is at 3.94 inches. Let's hope for a large batch of rain like in 2015 (10.63 inches) and 2019 (8.34 inches) to happen to bring things back to life. The average daytime temperatures sit at 68 degrees. Seeing the burnt red for above normal (up to 70 percent above normal), prepare for another extremely hot stretch.

The 8-to-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook, covering June 8-14, 2021. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

If there is any good news, there is one thing. The warm weather plants should be heading into the gardens from your pre-stage pots now. Almost any chance of frost is almost gone by the wayside. Bob Coward of the Cowardly Gardeners and co-host of the Garden Show on WBCK, has all the tips on how to get everything ready for your future crop. There also a tip on how to get rid of those nasty aphids (like the picture above) from some of your plants.

Be sure to tune in to the Garden Show every Saturday during the spring and summer months on 95.3 WBCK. Call 269-441-9595 with your gardening question, email co-host Nathan Adams or join us through the App Chat function on the WBCK app.

The Signs of Drought Stress on Trees

Portions of Michigan are under severe drought conditions due to the lack of rain. One sign that your trees are under a lot of stress due to the lack of water is the heavy dispersal of samaras, shown here in my yard on May 21, 2021.