Moso survives drought. It’s been through some major dry spells in its nineteen years here. But drought at shooting time is gut-withering for the anxious cultivator. Finding and protecting thousands of new shoots is the highlight of the year, especially now that the grove is large and the shoots are no longer juveniles. Coming back from the grove covered in lantana scratches and shellback ticks is all part of the experience. It’s a spectacle, and it’s the main reason I started this blog.
That’s all on hold. See here:
The problem isn’t the exhausted, autumnal appearance of the grove as a whole. That’s normal, as the moso concentrates everything it’s got on sending up those shoots that can grow up to two foot a day. The problem is that there are only a few new shoots in this moist and favourable area, when there might be a hundred. The other problem is that water-stress causes these new culms to bend, as they fight to get moisture for their phenomenal growth thrust. That stoop-from-the middle is a bad look:
At this very late point, some storms have drifted in and rain is looking likely over the next couple of days. (Remember, we drank oolong to make that happen.) Is it enough rain? Is it too late to push up hundreds of new shoots lurking beneath that dry leaf-crust?
Last toss of the dice.