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May 28th, 2009

It’s been a dry May here in Ohio. Usually we have a fairly wet spring and we only get dry spells in late July & August. I emptied my rain barrels last week sometime and have been hoping for rain. I guess I should install a few more rain barrels.
I’ve been keeping track of how much water I’m able to save with my rain barrels. So far this spring I’ve been able to harvest and use 690 gallons of water from my rain barrels.
I finally had to resort to using the hose to water my raised beds, I really didn’t want my strawberry crop to suffer. So out came the hose and I spent hours watering everything thoroughly.
I love these little hose guides, I got them a long time ago to keep the hose from trampling my plants. I need to get a few more though, I suppose a big rock would do, but how cute is this little frog looking up from the garden.
We got a small shower yesterday, but it amounted to less than an 8th of an inch of rain. It was only enough to get everything wet and droopy and make the day humid.
Even with that small amount of rain, I captured 21 gallons of water, that will be enough to water all of my potted plants.
We do have a 60% chance of thunderstorms today, hopefully we’ll get some rain, at least enough to fill up my rain barrels. I’m not holding my breath though, everyone around us got tons of rain yesterday and we got nothing.

Anyone else’s garden parched or are you having the opposite problem?

Fall & Winter Watering

October 24th, 2008

We had a long hot dry summer here in Ohio, as did much of the country. I watered and watered all summer long. This fall we have still been a little low on rain so I’ve been watering to make sure all my plants go into winter as healthy as possible. Many people don’t realize that watering is still important in fall and winter. Dry air, low precipitation, little soil moisture, and fluctuating temperatures are characteristics of fall and winter in many areas of the country. There often can be little or no snow cover to provide soil moisture, particularly from October through March. Trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns can be damaged if they do not receive supplemental water.

The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of plant root systems. Affected plants may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy. Plants may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or summer when temperatures rise. Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems.

Guidelines for fall & winter watering:
* Water trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.
* Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees F with no snow cover. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.
* Established large trees have a root spread equal to or greater than the height of the tree. Apply water to the most critical part of the root zone within the dripline.

It’s a good thing I installed those rain barrels because I have plenty of free water to make sure everything is fully hydrated. Here pretty soon I am going to need to drain my rain barrels for winter, so I need to use up all the water in them. What better way than to make sure everything is watered in for the winter.

Do you water in fall & winter?

Empty Barrels

August 7th, 2008

My rain barrels are empty. We haven’t had any rain here in almost 3 weeks. So how many gallons have I used in the last 3 weeks?

Each one of these hash marks represent 1 fill of my 3 gallon watering can (and there are a few more on there now since I took this photo the other day). There are 117 hash marks x 3 gallons = 351 total gallons of rain water used. I’m sure there were a few times I forgot to notch the board so I could probably add another 20 gallons or so to that number. I’m hoping we get some rain tonight so they fill up again, if not out comes the soaker hoses & the sprinkler.

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.