Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rain and rain and more rain

It's been raining here. It's been a nice gentle slow soaking rain on and off for the last week. It's rained just enough to keep me from working on the backyard firepit patio. The garden and watering system needed some attention anyway. The hosta bed still needs a apring cleanup and the wild tree sprouts along the fence line need to be cut. So there's still plenty to do even when the ground is wet.

The rain barrel you see in the picture is a 40 gallon barrel that has been integrated into the watering system by running a hose from this barrel to the main tank. I did the math and the 12 x 24 foot roof area that runs into this barrel as the potential of 180 gallons of water from a one inch rain. Yikes!! This last rain raised the main tank water level by 5 inches. I figure that was the equivilent of 85 gallons of water. That was just a little drizzly rain that didn't really amount to anything. I may have to re think the design of this rain water catching system. It's potential is much larger than I first thought.

Here's the back side of the firepit patio project. Because of the afore mentioned rain, the progress here has been slow. Hopefully by summer's end, marshmallows will be toasting over the fire. I've been planning to do this for a couple years now and finally it's under construction.

I have been reading a book by Jerry Baker called "Majic Grass". It's all bout growing lush grass with all different concoctions. He has wake up tonic that contains bone meal, gypsum, lime, and Epsom salts. Then there's the turf builder with baby shampoo, cola, ammonia, and instant tea. My favorite is the snack tonic given to the grass every three weeks and contains dish soap and beer. Oh yeah and then every three weeks, its a dose of ammonia, corn syrup, liquid lawn food, and a can of beer. Then if the lawn can stand up in it's drunken stupor, it will be mowed. By the end of the summer I would guess the lawn will be signed up for Alcoholics Anonymous. This picture is a picture of all the stuff needed to get started with the Jerry Baker lawn care system. I'm just doing a test to see if it really works or old Jerry is just trying to sell a book. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Even though the yard was wet I managed to get the cucumber support up. The cucumbers won't be planted for another couple weeks. I suppose I could start them inside like last year and transplant them outside when the weather breaks. You really can't see the support too well but the leaning 2x2s in the center of this structure has wire fencing on it to allow the cucumbers to climb up the support. Last year the cukes hit the eight foot top of the structure. I'm planting more cucumbers this year with the aspirations of canning dill pickles for my grandson.

So as the dreary unseen sun slowly sets, one more preparation step has been accomplished toward the planting of the urban ranch backyard bio intentive vertical growing experimental garden beds. It was a good day today.


  1. I am still grinning about your Jerry Baker stuff. I look forward to seeing how you like it. I imagine the slugs will like it. Your cage is as cool as a cucumber. (I started to just say it was cool, but decided to play with words a little.) I am so ready for a bit of a dry off so I can get a new planting area tilled. I don't till again usually, once an area has been tilled the first time. I have a nice sized new area that I'm going to plant now that the tree in front is down.

  2. Boy the rain here just won't quit! I think that we are 5" ahead of normal for the year so far.

    You definitely have to make pickles for your grandson. He will love them! Are you going to make them the old fashioned way and let them ferment for a few weeks?

    It will be interesting to see how your lawn handles all that beer!

  3. How are things going, Dave? We sure had some heat there, and now it's cold! Where are the 70s?

  4. You are prepared for some serious cucumbers. I hope you get tons to make all those pickles!