21 May 2011

Rain Report

Some days it seems as though all we've had for weather this spring is rain, rain, and more rain. Looking at my little farm diary I see that we have actually had just about the right amount of rain for the plants to be happy little growing things.

I started keeping good rainfall notes in late February, when I decided it was nearly time to begin planting. Early March saw 5 inches of rain followed by a dry week in which I got much of the lower garden prepared and planted. The month ended with another inch of rain, making for a nice, gentle, environment for newly transplanted herbs and berry canes to begin establishing themselves.

The month of April really was crazy for rain but did no harm to the gardens. (The driveway was a different story!) The first three weeks saw totals of 2.63", 2", and 2.89" again followed by a glorious and dry week for planting and cultivating. The cover crops and straw covering of the soil allowed the 'lower' garden to take all that rain without any damage. Mr. Fuzzy's 'far' garden was still fallow so the weeds kept the soil from washing away.

The rain has become more consistent over the last month, settling in at about 1.5" per week in several rains. This makes me and the lower garden happy but for all those, like Mr. Fuzzy, who waited until warm weather to "put in the garden" it's been a real pain. After plowing, harrowing, and tilling all that bare soil was clobbered by the rain. Hopefully, the rain will hold off for a week and all the late-breaking gardeners will have the opportunity to mend, amend, and plant their plots before another round of, hopefully gentle, rains.

As for me, I'll be cutting down the first cover crop and planting a second one in the same location to suppress weeds, add organic matter, and sop up the free nitrogen as those 'tillage' radishes decompose.

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