May’s weather a bit dry

After a month of less-than-normal rainfall, the soil looked a bit dry in two raised beds constructed over the weekend by Marietta Girl Scout Troop 155 at the Campus Martius Museum.

“It looks dry on top of the beds, but we pulled back some of the dirt today and it was moist underneath, so I think it will be OK,” said Ellie Bailey, 11, with the Marietta troop.

On Monday, she and eight fellow scouts were preparing to put a variety of herbs and other plants into the beds as part of a four-month project that began in February and will earn the troop members a coveted Girl Scout bronze award.

“We’re planting medicinal herbs, culinary herbs, plants that repel insects, and some fragrant herbs,” Bailey said, noting that the raised-bed garden plants would be similar to those used by Marietta’s early pioneers.

“We hope these plants will be given enough care to keep them growing for a long time,” she added.

That could mean lots of watering if June proves to be as dry as the month of May, according to Marietta weather watcher Charlie Worsham.

“May was warm and dry,” he said. “The temperatures were a couple of degrees above normal, but rainfall was well below normal. And this makes five straight months that we’ve had below normal rainfall.”

Worsham said normal precipitation for the month of May is 4.38 inches, but last month’s actual rainfall was only 2.04 inches, making it the driest since only 0.90 inches of rain fell in May of 2007.

May’s temperatures were a different story.

“We were getting down to a low of 35 degrees during the last week of the month, but on May 31 the high was 90 degrees and the low 64,” Worsham said. “That’s a 55-degree difference inside of six days.”

He also noted the temperature soared from a low of 32 degrees on May 14 to a high of 89 degrees the very next day.

Worsham said the dry weather may not bode well for crops.

“We need about an inch of rain a week for gardens to do well,” he said.