No Rain. No, not the Blind Melon song, but my life. In an effort to shake things up a little bit and try to conserve, we installed two rain barrels this year. We have a 156 gallon barrel in the back for the large raised beds and other smaller beds (tomato, carrot patches), and a 50 gallon barrel in the front for the raised stone bed, which belongs to my partner in crime in the dirtbox, the Silver Fox. (The front barrel also covers my onion patch and the sunflower/pumpkin bed)
We get a fair amount of rain in our neck of the woods, so the barrels were more out of curiosity than necessity. All gardeners in the Hudson Valley no doubt remember the torrential downpours of last summer (I use the term “summer” lightly), and the destructive late blight that followed suit.
Fast forward to this year, and my rain barrels are nearly empty! Of course I still have my trusty old hose setup, but if I can use rainwater over well water I will. I’ve been poring over the forecast for the last several days, waiting and hoping for rain. Not that I’m going to plan my whole summer around this dry spell, but I do feel a little hesitant to plant my last vegetables if I feel like its going to be a very dry summer.
Meanwhile, the weather has been a fickle friend this year, and the meteorologists even more so. Strong scattered thunderstorms have been all over the Valley, and although we hear the thunder, we get no rain still. My rain barrel, once up to almost my shoulders with water, is now dust and pollen.
Today I awoke determined not to let the ceaseless jewel blue sky deter me. (Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but I never realized how crucial rain can be until I started gardening!) I just checked the forecast, and…finally! 80% chance of thunderstorms in tomorrow’s outlook, before back to warmth and sun for the week, and then thunderstorms again over the weekend. If I’m lucky, it’ll be a strong enough storm to fill my barrels.
Are you getting enough rain this year for your garden?
“When halo rings the moon or sun
Rain’s approaching on the run.”