El Nino is predicted by NOAA into 2016
I took Sassy for her morning walk at about 8 AM and saw nothing special. I really wanted some rain, because a long bout of sprinkling yesterday left the soil still dry. I know because I dug a hole for the Double Whammy Sunflower this morning.
The house got dark suddenly and a big thunderstorm rolled in at about 10:30. The rainbarrels, which I emptied yesterday - in hope - are already half-filled.
A long, steady rainstorm is a great boon to gardeners and farmers. No amount of artificial watering can equal a rainstorm in volume of water and in usable nitrogen.
|Save the rain for later, like a boss.|
Maximizing the Rainstorm
Always planning ahead, I obtained 30 cubic feet of cyprus mulch, which we put on part of the main rose garden. I could use more for the rest of the front garden. I am changing over from black mulch that smells bad until it dries out to dry shredded cyprus, which smells wonderful from the start.
I made sure the ranbarrels were empty and positioned under the eaves. They are the secret to the Intensive Creation Unit. I ladle out rainwater on all lagging plants
|Double Whammy can grow to 3 feet.|
It is a perennial sunflower.
I am studying weeds to identify them better. Unfortunately I know too many weeds too well. However, they flatter me by growing five feet tall in good soil with plenty of water. "Aha! You will be composted soon under a layer of cardboard, newspaper, and mulch."
As I wrote, with deep sighs, the sunny potato garden turned into a riot of weeds, an orgy of slugs, and very few taters. You might say I reduced the initial supply of seed potatoes. But instead of hiding the evidence, I keep the composted bales in place, tore up the weeds, with help, and coaxed all the organic material around the roses and raspberries growing in wild abandon.
Keeping the material in place will create or sustain a harbor for beneficial beetles and spiders, an overwintering place for beneficial insect larvae. A heavy rainstorm accelerates the the decomposition process, which needs moisture and nitrogen.
Want to Meet Some Beneficial Creatures? Visit the Bee Balm section at Walmart.
I was looking over the plants at Walmart when I spotted a new, fresh display of Bee Balm. I bought a few of their bargain plants from before.
As I neared the display, tiny insects were flitting about. I approached and saw the flower flies (hover flies) feeding from the flowers. The beneficial insects look for the food, and they flourish where plenty of food is provided.