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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

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By andynorth
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#442165
We do have our dry spells. Usually from mid July through about mid September. Some years sooner. We usually judge whether or not we will have a drought for the summer by looking at Mt. Rainier. If it is mostly white we are good. However, some years it is more black than white which means drought and watering lawns less for that particular summer.
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By Intheswamp
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#442169
Interesting that the snow foretells of drought or not. I know it means a lot in regards to runoff for the rivers and lakes but not about forecasting rain. Cool. We kinda know if it’s gonna be a wet season by how active the hurricanes start out being. Ever wished for a tropical storm? :!:
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By MikeB
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#442173
Intheswamp wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 3:50 am Ever wished for a tropical storm?
Yes, this was my first year doing so. We had just one hurricane remnant blow through. Here is North Carolina's current drought situation:
NC drought map.jpg
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Alabama is looking much worse:
Alabama drought map.jpg
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Source: https://www.drought.gov/
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By Intheswamp
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#442179
Yep, it's been kind of crispy down here. This rain will help and hopefully the next system coming in help even more. We only got around 5/8" out of this past rain...filled up my 5-gallon buckets at the drip line only 4/5 full. Usually I dump out the first few inches of rain water due to roof debris but we had small rain to start with and it stopped. When I looked there was only an inch in the buckets so I figured what the hey so I poured all the containers together in a single container...the mixed water measured 10ppm TDS and a little debris in it. After the big rain about the only debris was still the dark, fine residue :?: that settles to the bottom but other than that the water was really clear...TDS on this rain was 2ppm. It seems, anecdotally, that the harder the rain the higher the TDS measures, the softer the rain the lower the TDS. I'm not sure if this is from atmospheric reasons or because the rain is literally knocking more stuff off the roof with the harder rain. FWIW.

Hoping for storms...oh yeah, many times. We're roughly 90 miles inland and we don't wish harm to anybody, but a good tropical storm or a weak Cat-1, we'll take it. ;)

ETA: We're sitting in the orange color, a rocks throw from the red.
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By andynorth
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#442205
Intheswamp wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 3:50 am Interesting that the snow foretells of drought or not. I know it means a lot in regards to runoff for the rivers and lakes but not about forecasting rain. Cool. We kinda know if it’s gonna be a wet season by how active the hurricanes start out being. Ever wished for a tropical storm? :!:
It does not tell if it is going to be a rainy summer or not. It is that pretty much most of Western WA about 40 miles or so South of Seattle get our water from the run off of the mountain. If it is mostly white that means there is plenty snow on the mountain to avoid there being a drought. There are actually several mountains around us that they use to judge this. So much so that the news will let us know what percentage of snow fall they each are at. This link is for the entire state but gives you a general idea. https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reports/Up ... ate+Report

I was stationed in GA from 80-81. In the short almost 2 years I was there I seen a LOT of rain. We had a Second Lieutenant that decided it was a good idea to set us up, with 100 foot antennas in the air, in the middle of a dried up swamp. Hurricane Dennis came through and we were stuck in the middle of that dried up swamp!!! Not a whole lot of fun at the time.
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By Intheswamp
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#442254
I see, I thought you were talking about rain/catchable water. Yes, I've picked up on folks out your way using the snow packs to determine the river/reservoir level forecasts. If it ain't falling from the sky we just watch the creeks...sometimes you can easily step across some of them and at other times the same creek might be flooding the swamps. I've got a little piece of property on about a 1/2 mile of creek run. There's a small bluff that I can sit on during heavy rains and watch the entire swamp hit high flood level...pretty cool. My BIL and I used to do what we called "storm camp"...see the forecast for severe storms and we'd go tent camping. :mrgreen: One morning after a rather heavy-duty storm (listened to tornado sirens all night long! :roll: ) we decided to walk down to the creek...about halfway there the creek met us coming up the hill! :lol: That little creek will jump up in a heartbeat...it's big brother a few miles to the east rises slower and drops slower. It's...nature. ;) So, yeah, not a real bright move to be in the middle of a swamp during hurricanes. :mrgreen: Nobody ever called us bright (a few other things, but never bright). :lol:
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By Intheswamp
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#446266
This last week we've basically had two systems blow through here. This last one ended a few hours ago. The only things I had left to fill was a couple of buckets and some flower pots. This was a cold (for us) rain that well overflowed the buckets. I ended up measuring 2.49" in the rain gauge. Anyhow, the water had that "sparkling look" to it and very little debris from the roof (I let the roof wash good before I took the lids off the buckets). Anyhow, both buckets and even the flower pots sitting on the cement read 0ppm. Usually the pots are a little higher than the buckets so I wondered if my meter was acting funky on me so I tested some known "dirty" water...it measured a much higher ppm. That was one steady, cold, clean rain!!! :D

Both buckets are filled to the brim...
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By Intheswamp
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#446271
Same here. I'm pretty sure the system last week was over 3-inches, but I didn't have the gauge up. This pretty well maxes out my water storage for now...probably 130 gallons or so. Until I move to a plastic drum or two that pretty well is my limit.

I just hope it doesn't turn off as dry this summer as it's been wet this winter. :|
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By Intheswamp
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#449835
Well, the storm system coming through the Deep South is (so far) a really good rain. Slow and steady in my area and no wind to speak of. I think down south om the panhandle it might be a bit more rough. Anyhow, I’ve already got about 40 gallons caught and really nowhere to store it except for what I caught it in. Some good low TDS rain, too!!!....1PPM-2PPM. Looks like some peat and perlite rinsing on the horizon!!! :D
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By andynorth
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#449848
i use several 5 gallon buckets and have a 60 gallon rain barrel next to my tool shed with a gutter on it. I cannot use water from our roof as the roof has moss out on it. Funny how I use moss out on the roof yet grow it in my greenhouse!! I normally go out and pour it in to gallon jugs when the rain slows down, you know, to keep it from evaporating. Although we get lots of rain here, it is not all at once like it is down south. We do still get torrential down pours but in the spring it is more like trace amounts.
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By Intheswamp
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#449863
Andy, you can get lids for those buckets if the only reason you're transferring to gallon jugs is for evaporation reasons. When all my jugs and my garbage cans are full I filter out the debris in the buckets (pour through cotton cloth into empty bucket) and lay a lid on top. I seriously need to pull a plastic 50-gallon barrel or two into play. I just haven't figured a good strategy out of getting the water out of the barrels without cutting the top off or building a pedestal for them to sit on. I'm good for now, but not sure how abundant rain water will be in late July. :?
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By andynorth
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#449866
Intheswamp wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 12:54 pm Andy, you can get lids for those buckets if the only reason you're transferring to gallon jugs is for evaporation reasons.
No, that would not work. The rain up here is not constant and torrential like yours. It is more of a drizzle and never know when it start or stop and I don't want to stand there waiting.
By 8spidersayear
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#450925
MikeB wrote:You should check Craig's List for plastic, food-grade barrels in your area. 20 bucks will get you a 50- or 60-gallon rain barrel.
Unfortunately I don't live in a rural enough area to find barrels under 60 dollars. The county gov does a rain barrel program but it still costs 60 dollars.
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By Intheswamp
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#450932
8s, keep looking on Craig's List and any local "community" forums on Facebook. What I've found in my area are a couple of different guys that sell them, it's kind of a sideline hustle of theirs. If you have any soft drink bottling companies around you you might find some large barrels there. When I see the mention of a "rain barrel" I'm thinking a recycled barrel that someone has modified. We have no government rain barrel program around here, but I would imagine that if it's a "kit" for $60 that it comes with things to adapt it to your gutter system...elbows, joints, maybe even a rinse diverter to cull the first several gallons of roof debris-filled water. In the meantime, a 32-gallon garbage can holds a lot of water (well, 32 gallons anyhow :mrgreen: ). If you have a shady spot to store it the water will stay cooler, the plastic won't degrade as quick, and algae isn't as prone to growing in it. You can empty your 5-gallon buckets into it so it doesn't have to be under a gutter or drip line.
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