Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Good And Bad Effects Of Rain

Our dry summer continues in NH. There has not been much rain to speak of,and the very few times we have had it,it has been in the form of quick moving downpours. Saturday and Sunday, Rick and Brother B decided to start working on the rain barrels.I think we all hoped if we put them out,it might actually rain! Our rain barrels,which are actually blue juice barrels, were free. One we got from Rick's brother Dale,and the other from Rick's friend,Paul. We borrowed a pressure washer from our neighbor Kelly. Rick sawed off half of the cover,and he and Brother B gave the insides of the barrels a good cleaning. While I was out on a Garden tour,they set up this one barrel,built the stand,set the spigot,and got one coat of paint on before I saw it. They figured it would blend into the house.The also set up gutters and downspouts into the barrels. We did have to buy the spigots,silicone,and gutters. Hmm...looks like my bulkhead needs a good sanding and repainting! The house needs to be repainted as well. I think that will be either a Fall or next year project.
This barrel is by the front of the house,near the apple tree,hydrangeas,and the well. The second barrel will be by the chicken coop and garden.The main purpose of the barrels is for watering the garden and birds,but if we have enough,we will also help fill the well. We do need to put a screen over the top of the barrels to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs,and from assorted debris.You can see the downspout has been put directly into the the barrel. Good thing, too, because,last night we had a heck of a rainstorm!

While the thunder and lightning wasn't bad at all,it was quite windy and the rain was very heavy.It rained for about half an hour.When the rain was over,we checked the water level in the barrel,and it was slightly over 20 gallons of water! Each barrel holds 50 gallons.We should've done rain barrels a long time ago.The second one isn't fully done yet,so it didn't gather the water it should have. The stand for it has not been built,so the downspout doesn't come down all the way into the barrel.

While that is good news,we did have some frustration. It rained so hard,that it flattened the corn.
This is what the corn looked like this morning. Brother B started to stake the corn up,putting stakes on each end,and keeping the corn upright by putting the them in between two rows of string that are tied to the stakes. We are hopeful that this will help get them situated again,but a few of the stalks have had it. The rest of the garden came out of it fine. You can see my tomatoes on the left side of the picture.
Today I picked enough cucumbers to make pickles,and I have at least four pumpkins that are doing really well. I also discovered two cantaloupes!Each day brings more tomatoes(still green,aren't big enough yet),my lettuce is still thriving,and we enjoyed some carrots last night.I think my peas have about had it,though.The zucchini and summer squash are doing well,my peppers are still a bit slow,though we do have one blossom. Tonight we are going to enjoy some grean beans. Can't beat fresh veggies!!!!

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