Like the Word of God, the effect of rain is inevitable. The weather prediction is four days of rain, and it started today.
More mulch was going to be applied, but that was delayed. I had three mature tomato plants, two good for one pound tomatoes, the third one cherry tomatoes. Blooms are on the big tomato plants, and the cherry tomatoes are hanging in a green cluster on the third plant.
I dug the tomatoes into the front of the sunny garden. If all goes well, they will get some companions and mulch. Digging was fun because the soil has been softened with a thick layer of earlier mulch - newspapers, wood mulch, and straw. The soil was packed with red wigglers and only a few thick maple roots blocked my shovel. The solution for maple roots is to expose them with the shovel and use large tree pruning shears to cut them.
We have experienced days of drying wind, a good reason to mulch, which holds onto water, prevents wind erosion, and hinders water evaporation. My rain barrels were evaporated to a low level by the winds alone, so I emptied them to keep them skeeter free and ready for fresh supplies of rain. Four barrels should be already full by tomorrow.
I told one reader that I expected to sow some seed between rains, and she responded as if I would be caught like the Reformer in a violent storm. Instead, when the cold wind kicked up (usually the sign of an approaching storm front), I found a packet of borage and scattered that in various places. The borage (also called bee bread) will grow and seed itself all summer, feeding bees and other beneficial insects.
I have also decided to let banks of clover grow without mowing, so they can flower and seed themselves all summer. I have learned that beneficial insects often have juvenile stages where they feast on pests and adult stages where they depend on nectar and pollen. The clover is already blooming.
That is also the place to discover a four-leaf clover. They are easy to find in a stand of tall clovers.
No need explaining
The one remaining is somebody I adore
I'm looking over a four leaf clover
I overlooked before.
The falling rain is certainly a blessing for everything growing. Dissolved nitrogen in the rain, and dusty minerals from the newly cleansed air renew the face of the earth. Trees, bushes, and plants are washed off in soft water, adding more to the soil. Soil creatures come alive and pull down the debris caused by the rain. Fungi ask for carbon from plant roots and grow out toward objects of decomposition, supplying nutrition to the roots.
The nitrogen compounds immediately green up the grass and plants. Nitrogen is building block for protein in plants and animals. The red wiggler earthworm is all muscle, in essence, all nitrogen. He concentrates useful nitrogen in his ceaseless tunneling and excretes nitrogen compounds two ways - through its castings and also through its tiny kidneys.
One earthworm is nothing, as the chemical gardeners like to point out, but the mass of earthworms in good soil provides massive earth movement and creation of new soil (castings) every day. No matter what I put around the crepe myrtle bush, the pile of organic mulch is drawn into the soil, feeding the creatures that ultimately feed the plant.
The earthworm gathers organic matter in its effective tunneling esophagus, transporting bacteria and letting them digest the organics to feed the his rippling muscles and gripping movement bristles. No, he is not lazy. He has a crop where he grinds up this mix with little pieces of stone. Bacteria like their food pre-chewed, and they finish the job as much as they can. Each creature benefits the other.