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deannatoby

Who else feels bone dry now?

We are so dry here. But, looked up the historical data today and rainfall may not be the main reason why. May usually has an average of just under 2" of rain, and right now we are at 1", so that's not too bad. Our temps, however, are REALLY high. Our average maximum temperature is over 8 degrees higher than the normal average maximum. We've had unusually warm days for May, and maybe that's what is making things feel so dry. I would say we certainly haven't had enough rain to counter the warm temps. Things aren't dying yet, and they aren't wilting, but they are hunkering down and delaying growth. I'm very happy things aren't stressed.

All of this emphasizes to me the fact that I HAVE to figure out how to capture rain water. Our rooflines and house placement make that extremely difficult, but I've got to figure it out. I already capture the shower water while I'm waiting for it to warm up and give a different thing one deep drink each day. Last year our well ran dry because of my gardening, but it refills in a few hours. I do not like stressing it like that.

How are MA, NH, VT, CT, and the rest of you doing? Officially we are only in "Abnormally Dry," which we achieved during winter. Never got to the normal level with regards to precipitation.

Comments (60)

  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)
    3 months ago

    It's really dry in my garden. We haven't had rain in over two weeks and had a bout of July-like weather the past three or four days. Fortunately the temperatures have returned to more normal levels today but there still is no real rain in the forecast.

    I've started watering some established plantings that are in particularly dry gardens. Not good. I have to hand water which sucks up inordinate amounts of time.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Sue W (CT zone 6a)
  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    3 months ago

    Conversely, we haven't had a day without rain in two weeks. Sometimes all day rain. The view hasn’t changed and nor has the temperature.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
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    3 months ago

    Floral, please send some rain here. We had reasonable rain in March and April, but the last two weeks or more have had no measurable rain, so we are officially into “abnormally dry“ with a couple areas of NH heading into the lowest levels of drought. When added to the temperatures in the 80’s many of those days in the past two weeks, my veggie garden is powder dry to about 3” except where I have watered and the large farm next door has started watering their veggie fields. This is really early for hot, dry weather for the second year in a row. I was in eastern NY state near Lake George last weekend, and I noticed many of the woodland plants were looking a bit limp. It isn’t quite as bad in my woods, but a fair chunk of my property qualifies as wetland, so that isn’t surprising.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked NHBabs z4b-5a NH
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    Floral, at least with dry, you can add water, especially if you use rain barrels and have enough to tide you over to the next rain. with too much rain, there's not a lot you can do. Of course, you hope it is a temporary situation that you can ride out, but it is a worry, that our climate is changing beyond the point where we can adjust. It's even bad for people health wise to be without sun every day for weeks at a time. Low Vitamin D for instance. So as much as we try to make light of it, I think we all understand how difficult the situation is. I hope you will post a photo the first day you have some sun!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I'm sitting on my rock in the garden and the breeze from the water is WARM, which is unusual. The rain, originally forecasted for less than 0.2 inches, to be falling now, is now expected to be under 0.05", if it appears at all. That about 1 mm, folks across the pond. I'd say that's not too far from non-existent rain. Our May behavior has been for rain a few days ahead, and as each day passes the expected rainfall gets less and less. In a few days we are supposed to get 0.3 inches. We'll see.

    My kids, whom I think very highly of despite how many times I have to tell them to do their chores (the same chores they've had for YEARS...I'm already off topic), are very sweetly joining me in capturing water while waiting for the shower to heat up in the bathroom. Two of my three kids at home enjoy cooking (thanks goes to Dad), and they are also catching kitchen water. It's amazing the difference it makes. I'll have several gallons a day to use just from that alone.

    I am enjoying this rare warm breeze. it's a beautiful evening after such a scorching day.

    (So sad. I can't believe I think the low 80s with no humidity is scorching. I don't think I'd survive in Alabama these days.)

    P.S. I just found a browntail moth caterpillar. (sigh)

  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Floral, I hope you don't have fungal issues. Our first summer here was wet and I devoted NO time to maintaining the garden. I remember plants developing fungus. Trust me, if we could take some of your rain, we would.

    PM, you are right. Thanks for reminding me that comments may be making light of floral's rain. Rainy, cold, and cloudy days on end are not fun.

    It occurs to me that everybody is talking about climate change. But, even without climate change, the 20th century is now known to be unusually wet. I think it prudent to plan my future garden remembering that the rains of yesteryear may not come for a few more centuries, even assuming we "fix" climate change. Between the two issues, we're certainly being hit with a double-whammy this year (and last year). Floral, I remember not too many years ago when Europe had a massive heat wave. I don't remember if it was limited to the mainland only and didn't affect England as much. Weather is a challenge at least half of the time, it seems.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    3 months ago

    Deanna, when I got home from work today, as I got out of my car and took a quick look around, I thought of this thread. Again, I don't closely follow rainfall totals or even pay very close attention to forecasts, but I wouldn't have said we were extraordinarily dry here. I've watered seedlings, new plants that haven't been put out yet, potted stuff, new plantings, etc., but haven't had to water the established plants.

    But, we've had some unusually high temps here. This past weekend felt more like August than May, and today when I got out of the car I noticed that several of my potted things on the (sunny) patio awaiting transplant were actually frizzled from heat. It's kinda crazy.

    I also noticed people talking on other threads how it's too late to plant stuff out. And this was two weeks ago. Mother's Day has always been the date that it's okay to plant annuals, veggies, etc. around here, and a week after Mother's Day people were talking about it being too late to plant. Things are definitely changing.

    I used to keep a rain barrel outside my back door. (Have a few around the yard but DH refuses to cut into the downspout to hook them up, so they only catch a bit of rainfall - when we get it!). The barrel behind my back door was there so I could collect shower water, cooking water, dishwashing water, etc., and just go out the back door and throw it in the barrel for use. I only used it mostly on the patio plants as it's too far to lug to the garden, but it does indeed help. I should start doing that again. I do also empty my dehumidifiers daily in the summer into my patio pots and any gardens near the patio.

    :)
    Dee

    P.S. Supposedly there are severe thunderstorms coming tonight. We'll see if and how much rain we'll get

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked diggerdee zone 6 CT
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I’ve been watering more than I had to last year at this point. Have already had to do the whole route around the yard with the sprinkler. And having moved a lot of plants and still sowing seed, I’ve been hand watering a lot too. Actually, I noticed that the interior needles on all my yews were turning yellow. Yikes! They never do that, which is odd because I wouldn't have thought I was dryer than past seasons.

    The forecast has been discouraging with little to no rain expected, but, it seems to me the forecasts are way off sometimes. Three days ago, they were forecasting no rain in sight for 7 days. Then yesterday, I saw a 60% chance of rain later in the day of a 1/4 of an inch with thunder and lightning. Sure enough we did end up with rain and I put a cup out to measure the rain. I just looked and it’s about 1/2 inch. Very welcome and I hope my rain barrels filled up, some were empty. And best of all, it cooled down after the rain. I just turned on the house fan, which I love.

    Deanna, I didn’t think anyone’s comments were making light of Floral’s weather. I was just surprised to see she still was not getting any warmth and sunshine. I remember a couple of summers we had so much rain and cloudiness and I didn’t enjoy that at all.

    Either way, whether we have too much sun, too much rain, or it’s too cold or too hot, the root problem is that what used to be an automatic system that kept us in balance is out of whack. We’ve even had an unusual amount of wind this year. I consider a lot of these changes, the planet’s way of trying to fix things somehow.

    Great idea about catching the water - our system takes so long to bring up the hot water. I can see doing the shower, but that’s dedication to try to capture at the kitchen sink. Love to hear that kids cook. Dad must love to cook.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    Dee, I understand your husband's reluctance not to cut into the downspouts. it's a pain to get it done without pulling the whole thing down or out of position. And once it is cut and you insert the diverter, it's just not as solid a connection either. But we managed to do it and the downspouts are still working fine and we haven't had an issue in the past 4 years? since we did it. I really love having a full couple of rain barrels after a rain and I have two connected off one downspout too.


    We use the dehumidifier water too. [g]



    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    Wow - what a difference a day makes. It rained last night and off and on all day today, I left a plastic container in one of the vegetable beds to measure how much rain we got and it was full to the top - a full 3 inches of rain. Both my rain barrels are full. And according to the forecast we are due for more rain. Very timely. Just about when we really needed a good soaking. But it's cold and raw out there! Brrrr!


    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    Well over two inches here in southeastern Massachusetts yesterday. A branch fell right on my cluster of pots, fortunately only destroying one dahlia, but I’m sure happy to take a break from watering!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    We got 1/2 inch Friday night, but are expecting over an inch later today and possibly another half inch Monday. I am over the moon, and my plants are standing up and cheering. Some things like Ladies Mantle and hostas were starting to droop in the heat of the day. This will make a big difference. I didn’t catch any of the rain Friday night, I have a one trash barrel under a roof valley and my big black gorilla cart under another roof valley. Today I should catch some rain. Woo hoo!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    Barheadlass, There were some gusts of wind yesterday. We must have gotten our downed branches earlier. It seems like it's been windy a lot this year. It destroyed a potted dahlia, then I'd assume it could resprout more branches and at least be saved for next year. It was really great not to have to water anything yesterday or today or tomorrow. lol Although with all this rain, we've switched gears and are finally cleaning the house. Not exactly how we were planning to spend our weekend. [g]


    Hope you get more rain today Deanna. The radar looks like solid downpours headed here, hope you get some of those.


    Floral seems to have finally released all the rain she was getting and sent it our way. I hope that means she finally got some sun and warm weather!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    3 months ago

    Housecleaning here today too, since it's been raining the last day and a half. Not sure how much we got but Friday night was a nice steady rain for a long time, and some nice steady rain yesterday morning too. Just starting raining a bit now. Too bad it's freezing on top of it! But we could use the rain and I know many of you can too, so hope you are getting enough rain as well.

    Okay, put it off long enough. Time to go clean!

    :)
    Dee

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked diggerdee zone 6 CT
  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)
    3 months ago

    We had just under two inches from Friday night through Saturday afternoon and it just started raining again with another inch to two predicted. My garden is rejoicing. Temps are in the mid 40s though so not every plant is happy.


    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Sue W (CT zone 6a)
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I've spent the down time from the garden profitably, learning to use a new Roomba. [g] We've had it since Christmas and only used it once. It's so much trouble getting everything out of the way to just let it operate, but, I suppose the trick is to expect to move what has to be moved and then let it do it's thing. It got easier after the third room and figuring out how to use the 'spot' feature. We are dog sitting and the 10 lb dog is definitely not a fan of Roomba. lol

    Wouldn't you know it started raining just as about 10 blooms on Savannah rose were ready to open. I'm hoping they will be delayed until the sun comes back out.

    Very cool here too but hot socks and a sweatshirt and I am very comfortable and would prefer that over the a/c.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    I’m spending my down time from the garden by wearing three layers of fleece and reading.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    I was reading more before gardening season, I need a new book, what are you reading Barrheadlass?


    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    I was too...
    I’m reading Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view. I have a pile of another 5 or 6 books from the library waiting for me too ( plus probably another hundred that I’ve bought...no, more like 150. I’m a retired librarian!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    The Library has always been one of my favorite places. Spent more time in libraries growing up than gardens. [g] I went through a phase of dragging home bags of gardening books, but I usually end up with my favorite, mysteries and suspense. John Grisham, David Baldacci and similar. I think I started out with the Nancy Drew series as a kid. [g]


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  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    We ended up having close to 3.5 inches of rain. My non-flowering (yet) plants are delighted, those in flower, such as in pots, are bedraggled.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    We are expecting a smattering of rain tonight and for the next few days. A smattering, but if it brings a drop in temps I am grateful. Foxgloves are drooping, as are Ladies Mantle and others. It's not the rainfall amounts, it's the doggone heat. Watering from my trash can/rain barrell, but it sure takes time running back and forth with gallon containers. i can't use the larger watering can becuase tree seed material from the runoff will clog the spout. Floral, has the UK seen sunshine yet?

  • defrost49
    3 months ago

    I've been absent a bit. we're in the middle of a heat wave yet Memorial Day weekend was so cold and rainy that LaVally Farm in Hooksett NH reported losing most of their cucumber plants. we are lucky to have a high water table so trees and shrubs do okay in the drought. Deanna you are doing great at water comservation. my only trick is to use a large deep bowl to wash my garden greens and then use the water for my plants. Our neighbor farmer said hay crop was less than normal. The fields that did the best were where he had put down chicken manure from the new egg farm but he hasn't been able to get more. He's going to seed sorghum and corn in the same field so the sorghum will shade the corn seedlings. we saw it growing in someone else's field last year and thought it was badly stunted corn.

    The property across the road has a good farm pond that didn't lose water last year. But a mile and a half away they cleared several acres of pines and now it's one big sand pit. The rive looks in pretty good shape right now but it's only June and it has benefited from being part of the federal flood control system.

    Some of the recent storms have skirted around us.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked defrost49
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Deanna, we seem to be in the miss category with the recent rain. Lots of reports of rain in Boston and downpours on the North Shore here yesterday but we didn’t see a drop of it. I’m still dragging the sprinkler around and hand watering waiting for the heat to dissipate. My pots of divisions from the spring have been wilting every afternoon despite being in 90% shade.

    Defrost…I probably mentioned earlier we got 5 inches of rain on Memorial Day weekend, thankfully, going into the heat wave has been easier because of that.

    I’ve been using my rainbarrels which filled to the top over Memorial Day weekend, but not on the veggie garden. And late in the day, I just want to set the sprinkler and head back in the house.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    No rain here either. So disappointing!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    I suspect you might not live far from me, prairie moon!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH
    3 months ago

    We didn’t get heavy storms, but we did get steady rain last night for a while. i haven’t checked on how much we got yet yet.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked NHBabs z4b-5a NH
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I just checked the forecast. Cooling off! 61F tonight and 75 high tomorrow! I'm 72FF on Friday, 72F on Saturday. 57F on Saturday night, great sleeping weather. Sunday 81F is the high and 50% chance of showers Sunday night into Monday.

    I think that's a pretty good forecast if it holds.

    Barrheadlass - maybe so! I'm about 10 miles north of Boston.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Barrheadlass
    3 months ago

    I am 50 miles south of Boston!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    barrheadlass - I love your screen name by the way....and I guess we're not in the same neighborhood, but I'm sure we must share weather patterns.

    It's already cooler here. 56F on my back porch this morning. A/C is turned off! Hope everyone gets relief today!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    We are cool! No rain this week except for some sparse drops that didn't fully wet the driveway. I have decided to let most of my wintersown seedlings die. I want to keep both my workload and watering to a minimum. Only the essential perennial seedlings will be planted and watered. On a good note, one of the boats is ready to launch. It has been a sweat-fest working outdoors in the heat to get it ready!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 months ago

    That's too bad about your winter sown seedlings, Deanna, but I get it. Having to ready boats and start a spring garden is a lot to juggle. Glad one of the boats is ready. Good timing.


    It is 49F on my back porch this morning...lol. Wow. Crazy weather!


    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    4”. A beautiful sight! I have two rain gauges in different spots and both measured 4”.



  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Same here Deanna - 4 inches from Thursday night until Friday dinner time. Then another inch over night. It was quite a downpour and woke me up. Completely overcast right now and nothing is drying out. No breeze. I won't have to water for 2 weeks. 3 full rainbarrels too.

    These rainy weekends are really cutting into our gardening time. Luckily the front garden is where it needs to be and is on automatic. And time to turn to the back. So we are weeding the raised vegetable beds I've been neglecting and I'm going to sow some seeds tomorrow. Maybe mix up some fish emulsion later today and give everything an application.

    This is quite unusual to get this much rain in July. I can't remember a season that I wasn't dragging the sprinkler all over the yard. I suppose it is in large part to Hurricane season starting so early this year.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Barrheadlass
    2 months ago

    Wow, here in southeastern Massachusetts, I had only about 1.5 inches from the Friday storm, plus a little more overnight. It has been raining off and on today too. The wind blew over a lot of my plants, my 6 feet tall hollyhocks were actually uprooted!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked Barrheadlass
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Barrheadlass - I thought your area was supposed to get the most rain?! We've had no rain here this morning so far. No breeze. Temps in the high 60s and very humid. Completely cloud covered skies. Comfortable garden work day. We just came in and used the morning to do heavy weeding and mulching which took 3 hrs for one section of a border, because of the grass coming under the fence.

    I can't believe your hollyhocks were uprooted!! You must have had stronger winds than we did. I did move potted tomatoes with stakes into the garage with a hand truck before the storm, but I guess I didn't have anything like your Hollyhocks to go over. And I don't think the wind ever got as strong as we were expecting. They were saying 60mph winds but it never got that bad on Friday.

    I wonder if you can replant your Hollyhocks and stake them? Sounds like you have a lot of clean up! Hope you get more rain today.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Hollyhocks uprooted! Wow! We had what I would call normal winds. No big deal. The rain was the main attraction. It’s too bad that the cause of southern destruction is blessed and thanked up here. Weird world. Too bad hurricanes can’t stay in the Atlantic, and then scoot on over here real quickily to drop us some rain.


    PM, 5 inches?! You have definitely gotten more rain than we have in previous showers so far this summer, and Mother Nature was keeping her streak going. She eeked out another inch to you, just to be consistent. Too funny!


    Last week we were moved from ”Abnormally Dry” to ”Moderate Drought”. Maybe this rain will flip us back to Abnormally Dry.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I just looked up Drought status here and we are in normal range now. We have been since the beginning of June and must be even more so now. June 10th the far western part of the state and the Cape were still in mild drought conditions but I would think that has resolved with the recent rain and we are supposed to get more this week.

    I found a record of precipitation since June 1st my area has had 11 inches of rain including last night. Our total for 2021 so far is 27.49 inches and normal is considered 22.44 inches. So we are above normal for rain. Last year we were 17.67 inches at this point. So, I would say you are right, we have been getting more rain than you have this year and more than last year and more than normal.

    But I think most of us are in much better shape than previous years. You had 4 inches of rain. All our gardens must be very happy!

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH
    2 months ago

    I got 4” over the )uly 4 weekend, and there was more rain over the last few days, though I am not sure how many inches. so we are likely back in the normal range finally.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked NHBabs z4b-5a NH
  • defrost49
    2 months ago

    Ack, planned to work in the garden today but it is foggy and a rainyy week is predicted but yesterday we toured two Vermont gardens that were part of the Garden Conservancy's Open Days. one was Bill Noble's in Norwich. His book Spirit of Place was published last year and is delightful. the day was perfect weather, sunny but not hot. I was going to use liquid fertilzer for potted plants but more rain will wash it out. 4 new plastic pots don't drain well because of built in saucers. Thanks to voles I put replacement tomatoes and peppers in pots.


    According to weatherman, most of our rain this summer has been the two holiday weekends. I was surprised that the Vermont gardens didn't look rain damaged.


    Deanna, many years ago I volunteered to help maintain a small garden at an intersection in town. Terrible sandy soil that needed a lot of water. My husband would fill a garbage can with water and strap it in the back of our pickup. I vaguely remember using a length of hose and the suction method to either water with the hose or transfer to my watering can. Maybe a suction hose would make it easier for you to fill your large watering can. if you do it quickly you don't get a mouthful of water. End of hose has to be lower than water level though.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked defrost49
  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks, Defrost. The siphon is a good idea, but I don’t think I could siphon over the long distance I need. But, I did find a solution with my garden cart. Previously it was full for other uses, but now I can easily fill containers and use the cart. I’m also trying to use the captured water for plants nearby and the hose for things farther away, as that seems easier. I know about not getting a mouthful of water, for sure! We siphon the boats when they are on land (“on the hard”), and boy do you have to watch out for what could get in your mouth with those! All matter of debris comes out with the water. Ick! I’m glad you got to tour such a beautiful garden. What a nice way to spend the day.


    PM, I have noticed all summer that you all would get sometimes twice as much rain as we did. Apparently the 4” in our region was the largest in the state. Portland got ~2”, and that two inches still left them with a 5” deficit. We are still in Moderate Drought. But, it is surely much better than before! I do not know the deficit for our particular area. Even though I know you have gotten more rain than us, I am still surprised you have that much of a surplus! Congrats!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Defrost, just a note - I wanted to dig out my raised veggie beds adn start sowing new seed this weekend and thought I wouldn't be able to after all that rain and to my surprise the beds were perfect for digging and passed the ball of soil test easily. One more advantage to using raised beds, they really do dry out faster, [which I suppose is why I end up watering them more [g]] and they warm up faster in the spring.

    No voles here, but the rabbits are as bad. I'm considering trying to buy some of those galvanized water troughs for cattle that are about 3 ft deep to keep the rabbits out. I don't suppose that would work for voles though. Moles maybe though. Electric fence next year? [g] Can it go down to the ground level and zap something as small as a vole?

    Very jealous of your tour with the Conservancy! Sounds delightful.

    Deanna,I hope you end up with a surplus by the end of the season. Fortunes change rapidly most of the time. lol


    Babs,glad you are getting enough rain too. I would think you have a much larger property and more difficult to water with a hose and I imagine you have a well too.

    deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • defrost49
    2 months ago

    Prairemoon, how do the cattle troughs drain? So far this year voles have chewed tomato plant stems and peppers about six inches from the ground but not eaten the tops. they also chewed thru a short row of sugar snaps. right now they have chewed the leaves off young kohlrabi and graffitti cauliflower .. they might survive. in past years they haabe tunneled under beets and carrots to eat the bottoms. that's why I hope the hardware cloth bottom on the new raised bed works. last year they were in the potato patch and someone tried to dig them out. Guessing it was a coyote. we seem to have a resident broad winged hawk so heres hoping. We don't seem to have ravbits here.



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  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Defrost, I assume you have to use a drill to put your own drainage in.

    Turning cattle troughs into raised beds

    This arrangement has been said to keep rabbits out of the beds, but I imagine it doesn't keep voles or chipmunks or squirrels out. I'm not sure what to suggest. I hope the hardware cloth does the trick, but they can climb into the bed and knaw on your plants.

    I've often read threads on dealing wtih these critters and can't remember ever reading about any suggestion that was actually successful.

    I might think about this kind of arrangement - covers for the raised beds. A tunnel or row covers keep insects out but I doubt they keep out voles. The example here looks like they used chicken wire but you could use hardware cloth if the holes need to be smaller.

    Covers for raised beds

    I'm sure it is an expense and more work than you want to do. *sigh* It would be for me, but, it seems to me once installed, it would be very easy to use and you'd be done wtih it. Was it you who told me you were a fan of Eliot Coleman? I wonder what he does to deal with critters. He has to have as many as anyone else does. He has always come up with very inventive solutions.

    My wooden beds are 8 yrs old, hard for me to believe. They are starting to show wear and tear but I think I'd probably get another 4 years out of them. So I have some time to figure out what we want to do next. It's just what am I going to do in the meantime. [g]

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  • defrost49
    2 months ago

    we tried to eliminate the weed patch where voles were nesting. it was an asparagus bed that failed but still provided a few spears each spring. My husband brush hogged it. two voles ran off. you can see where they travel because they go the same exact way each time so they wear down a path in the grass. Two snap traps baited with peanut butter and juicy fruit gum were put near the cauliflower plants they ravages. they are also called meadow or field mice. Hardware cloth has to be the quarter inch size or they can squeeze thru the holes. i'll have to double check but I think the only vole solution that was recommended in a book was a trap inside a box. I think the box protected other things from the snap traps.


    one year I covered late broccoli with Agribon fabric. When I went to check it all the heads were gone. Just stems remained.


    The resident hawk got something today but it was on the wrong side of the house. we could see it feeding on something.

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  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I didn't think of that, Defrost, mouse traps sound like the best solution. We used to have a hawk or two around but I haven't seen them in awhile. I have no idea what happened to them. I wonder about the hardware cloth at the 1/4 in size, if it would bring a lot of shade? Yeah row covers not a deterrent to a mouse.

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  • defrost49
    2 months ago

    To cover a raised bed, screens might work.

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  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    2 months ago

    I can't believe it but I got another 2.5 inches of rain today! Yesterday the sun was out long enough to sow more seeds in the vegetable beds, so they are getting a nice soaking and gray skies. But the tomatoes and peppers? Not so sure when those are going to start growing again or ripening.


    2.5 more inches!! That's crazy...lol.

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  • deanna in ME Barely zone 6a, more like 5b
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Well, after a highly unusual wet and foggy July, such that the first visit of my family was spent with 80% foggy weather (tried twice at Cadillac Mountain, couldn't see off the peak), we are officially out of any drought status! We are now normal on the drought monitor map.

    Now I need to figure out how to use this full bin of rain I've collected before it breeds mosquitoes. What a nice problem to have!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Finally, Deanna! that's great. I think if you just have an old window screen hanging around you can place that over the top and it will not get mosquitoes while you are waiting to use it. Who knows when you will need to water at this rate.

    That 2.5 inches in a downpour last night brings me to at least 20" since June 1st. My garden is loving it for the most part. I cannot remember a summer when we were lucky enough to get this much rain.

    I was talking to someone in New Hampshire last night that hadn't gotten as much rain as we have but still has had a good amount. They were pointing out that it's been great because for the most part the rain has come over night and it clears the next day, or in the morning and the sun comes out later. It was gray and cloudy a lot for awhile but the last few weeks has been great timing for rain here. My rainbarrels are still full and I have barely filled a watering can.

    Too bad about your trip to Cadillac Mountain, Deanna! They'll just have to come visit again. 🙂

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