Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
It Rained Here This Morning

Posted by okiedawn Z7 OK (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 26, 12 at 10:34

Finally! I awoke to thunder, lightning and rain. It was a pretty fast hit-and-run thunderstorm that did not linger for long, but it dropped about 0.70" of rain here.

Our county's mesonet station had gone 30 days without recording a single rainfall of 0.25" or greater, and things were crunchy-dry here. I've been watering like crazy the last 3 or 4 days trying to keep my trees alive as their leaves began falling, an indication they were going into drought-induced dormancy. The fruit trees and ornamental understory trees in particular were dropping leaves like mad.

One plum tree dropped all its leaves 3 or 4 weeks ago. It had started to leaf out again and this morning it has one small flower in bloom. This is not unusual after drought-induced dormancy and will not impair the tree's ability to set fruit next spring.

I'm headed out to the garden now to pull weeds and harvest. I don't care if I am covered in mud from head to toe. It's just nice to have some rain fall again.

Dawn


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

.20 in NW OKC but we have good chances every day through Saturday so I will keep my fingers crossed we get more.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

I'm glad you got a little bit of rain. It missed us. I'm still cranky over the weather.

It's so perfectly warm a volunteer tomato plant arose from the death bed of a garden. Ugh


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

We only got 17/100th, but still have chances for more this week.

Bon, I have a whole row of volunteers, but I think they are from a plant that was a volunteer this year, and I didn't always bother to pick it because it is not a favorite. It is the most inconsistent tomato plant I have ever grown, and the only consistent thing about it is that it is red. Santorini, I think.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

lol grandmom So that's how it goes sometimes.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

.2 inches of rain this morning, but it just started raining again as I type. The lettuce sure looked happy when i got home from work today!


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Our whole garden perked up a lot after receiving the moisture. I'm hoping for more, but grateful for what we did receive.

A lot of our trees have been dropping leaves and going into dormancy because of the prolonged drought, and I've been watering them....but clearly it wasn't enough. Today one of the plum trees (it dropped its leaves weeks ago) started blooming. This is not unusual--it happens when a fruit tree comes out of dormancy whether it is cold-weather induced dormancy or drought-induced dormancy.

I worked in the garden all day long, although it got pretty hot out there in the afternoon.

Bon and Carol, As I was weeding, I was pulling up volunteer tomatoes all over the place, but especially from the bed where I had cherry tomatoes this summer. They were only a couple of inches tall and were growing underneath snap bean plants that are about to start blooming. If I didn't still have oodles of plants producing cherries in containers and elsewhere in the garden, I might have kept a couple, but I just threw them in the bucket destined for the compost pile, along with lots of small winter grasses and a lot of lamb's quarters plants.

I noticed on the NWS webpage that an area in eastern OK has had so much rain that they're having flash flooding. Must be nice to have that sort of drought-buster rain.

Dawn


 o
rain!!!!!!

Dawn glad to see you received some. For anyone who might of been watching the radar yes it did RAIN here. We just received 9 tenths of an inch. They say we will have continued chances through the weekend. We got about ten minutes worth of marble sized hail. This was the medicine my garlic row needed. I finished preparing it Monday and planted one bulb that had sprouted. Will plant the rest in 7-10 days. I did soak it for a few hours. I am picking the final round of a few thing and will yank them out and start preparing soil in those areas over the next few weeks. Pray more is on the way. I feel truly blessed tonight. I stayed out picking things till it finally drove me inside. Jay


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

We had hail tonight. I had been watching a small storm cell and thought it was going to come right over us. We were getting dressed to leave home, and the weather radio said that they had half dollar size hail in Bernice State Park and it was moving to northern Delaware county and Honey Creek State Park was in the path. I told Al that it looked to me like it was headed straight for us instead. He ran out and put the car under the carport and barely made it back inside before the hail started. It was the largest hail we have had since living here. I saw several half dollar and quarter size, but the man across the street said he picked up golf ball size and put them in his freezer. I had to leave as soon as it stopped, so I don't know what it did to the garden.

I don't see other storms near us, but I think some of you are in for a rough ride tonight.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

I am getting rain at my house tonight. Last night we had quite the light and sound show, but no water, or very little. I didn't even bother checking the rain gauge.

The rain so far tonight has been a pretty gentle rain, but it sounds like it is picking up in intensity.

Lisa


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

I emptied another 3/10ths out from a nice slow shower this morning. I have heard reports from the first rain of up to 1.25 inches on the SW side of town and up to 2.3 inches 15-20 miles NE of here from the first storm. It came very hard. There was water everywhere for a while. They are saying 70% chance today and tonight. So hopefully more in on its way. The areas south of us in the OK Panhandle that I've heard so far received a lot less. Jay


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Jay, Well, i am excited you got rain too. You needed it even more than I did. I was watching the radar and thought you'd likely had rain, but the radar in your area has fooled us all before---many times. I hope you get more rain. You've been in drought for so long.

I have one tree, a 'Jane' deciduous magnolia that likely is dying. Unlike the other trees that have had leaves turn brown and crispy and drop, the dead leaves are clinging to the magnolia, so I think it may not survive. I've already decided that if it is dead, I'll plant a fig there in its place. It is in the one part of the yard that has sandy soil, and that's where I have all the fruit trees I've planted so far, except for the figs and citrus trees in containers. I planted that poor magnolia in a drought year and it has had to deal with drought 2 out of every 3 years ever since, and it never has been as happy as I had hoped it would be.

I have most of the fall garden in now, though I'm still holding a few plants in flats. Some are backups in case the grasshoppers wipe out everything (the hoppers are trying their best to destroy everything I plant), but I still have to clean out 2 or 3 raised beds to have room for the rest. I hope to finish that up today because our best chance of rain (only a 40% chance, but it is better than a 0% chance) is on Friday.

The nice thing about the fall garden is that it is green! I have been so starved for something green and pretty to look at as the drought has deepened here and turned stuff brown, so at least we have that green in the garden, though the rest of the property is looking increasingly brown and sad. I think our woodland trees have gone downhill fast in the last month, and we'll probably lose more trees in there. We won't know till next year for sure.

Lisa, Shouldn't your rainfall gauge be overflowing by now? Seems like you're overdue for the kind of rainfall that fills up the rain gauge. It isn't summer around here if you aren't occasionally able to say "my rain gauge was overflowing....". Well, I guess technically now it is autumn, though it still feels more like summer.

Carol, Hail? And the size of it! That's awful and I sure hate that this happened to your garden (and to your house too). I hope the hail didn't damage anything too much. I have had hail that big one time since moving here and it was not pretty. I cleaned up the damage right away and the garden recovered, but the harvest was late that year.

From looking at the OK Mesonet rainfall map, which I'll go get and link below, it looks like some areas have had some really nice rain, and more storms are continuing to sort of train across the same areas today. I hope the rain in other areas didn't have hail like Carol and Al received last night.

I'm going to link the 2-day rainfall map, since some of the rain fell Wed. and more has fallen today.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Two-Day Rainfall Map


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

LOL...it wasn't overflowing, but I had just a hair under 2.5 inches!! I'll take that! It looks like there might be more headed this way. I hope so!

Jay I am SO HAPPY for you!!!

Lisa


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

It rained here last night and the night before. We received about an inch total. We've got a chance of rain through Sunday, so I really hope it rains some more. We're at 17.31 inches so far this year and if we're going to hit our average, it's going to have to rain a lot. It's funny how I'm really hoping to hit our annual average of 23 inches when a lot of you have already hit that mark. This is not a good place to garden, even for Oklahoma. I have three options: move, stop gardening, or suffer. Obviously, I choose the latter! Or overall I do, at least. I didn't even walk out into the garden this summer.

Leslie


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

2.5 inches at our house in NW OKC! Our daffodil bulbs are sending up foliage - they are very confused.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

We received 0.70 on Tuesday night and then just over 2 inches last night, and it looks like there's more on the way. I love it! The only bad thing is that the sand burs are loving the rain, too, so I'm going to have to waddle myself out to the yard and dig them up soon before DH mows.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Leslie I went over 10 inches for the year after the rain last evening. The WUG site 4 miles NW of here shows 10.80 for the year. This is the 2nd year in five that I have exceeped 10 inches. Our yearly average when this drought cycle started was 16 inches per year. According to my records my total at my house has been 10.30. I'm excited to see us move in the positive direction. May take a while though to get to where I would like for it too be. I will watch what happens from now to early spring. I may change my planting habits drastically unless I feel better about rainfall amounts next spring and fall. Jay


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

We got missed every time rain passed next to us but finally got about 1.25in last night! Mom left some cloths for drying outside, she was heading to take them in last evening, I said, mom its not going to rain leave them there, so left left chuckling at me... ahahha it rained! -Chandra


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

The storm brought very little rain to us, but we did have some large hail. My row cover over the newly planted seeds has numerous holes in it. Our bar-b-que grill has a very heavy cover on it, but I am sure it has been weakened by lots of sunshine, but several hail stones went right through it.

Our house has a metal roof just a few years old and it has a 30 year guarantee except for paint, so I don't expect to have a roofing problem. I'm not crazy about the looks of a metal roof, but they are pretty practical to have in Oklahoma weather. I picked a few peppers that had taken a direct hit and threw them over the fence for the chickens.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

I have a total of .3 inches all in all. None of the hail that sonnergrandmom got and I am very thankful for that. They are saying we will hopefully get more tonight. We need multiple inches clear across the state. This drought has gone on long enough.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

We have had slim chances of rain for several days. I had decided that it would never rain again so I started digging the sweet potatoes in the south garden. I got about half way done and got rained out with .57". It may be a good thing because the ground was so hard I almost had to chisel the things out.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Emptied another .50 this morning. Bringing my total so far to 1.80. I've heard totals from 1.20 to 4.10. And still a good chance today. It is amazing how a little rain changes everyone's outlook and attitude. Jay


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Jay, not just not only people's but also Plant's! something magic in rain water!


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Lisa, Well, even though it didn't overflow it sounds like you had good rain. It might be overflowing by the time the high pressure builds back in next week and the rain drops off.

Leslie, I don't blame you. I wouldn't have been doing any gardening in your part of the state in the hot summer months either.

We had a much better year in Love County this year than last year. In 2011, we'd had just under 12" of rain by the end of August, and ended the year with a little over 23". However, our average rainfall is almost 39" a year, so we were still far below average. In 2012, we had almost 24" by the end of August so it was a much better year. However, last year we started getting lots of rain in September, and this year our September rainfall has been skimpy. While many others in OK are seeing improvement in their drought conditions, our drought is now deepening in our county. That's not much a person can do except wait it out

Mia, Plants often behave strangely coming out of drought-induced dormancy. One of our plum trees dropped all its leaves about a month ago and now is blooming. It happens almost every year that we have drought that is rated as 'Moderate Drought' or worse. Last year as soon as rain fell and we had cooler temperatures, the cool-season grasses and wildflowers (and weeds) germinated in huge numbers about 2 months earlier than usual.

Jay, I'm starting to wonder if you'll ever see average rainfall amounts again. This drought reminds me that your general geographic area was known, long-ago, as "no man's land", and for good reason. How in the world could pioneers in your area raise enough food to sustain themselves on the kind of low rainfall totals y'all see there?

Heather, That is not going to be fun. One ofmy memories of my grandfather is of him walking around his sandy yard removing those stickers so they wouldn't fall to the ground and give him even more of those evil plants the next year. It seemed like an endless battle.

Y'all, the rain since Wed. morning has missed us, and this week we are instead seeing a big increase in fires, despite that nice rain shower we had Wed. morning. Yesterday we had a pretty bad wildfire east of town that required about 8 or 9 departments and several hours to contain it and put it out. Then our pagers went off in the middle of the night.....this is a trend I am not liking one bit. I can water the garden enough to keep everything growing now that the temperatures have finally cooled off a little, but we cannot do anything about the thousands of acres of cedar tree-infested bone-dry grassland that surround us.

In case y'all have been too busy playing in the rain (grin) to notice, the Governor lifted the burn ban for another 22 counties. The current burn ban map is below. Meanwhile, some of the Texas counties across the river from us who lifted the county burn ban 1, 2 or 3 weeks ago now have put them back in place. Apparently the conditions remained drier than they thought and a resurgence in fires caused them to reinstate burn bans. Likewise, the commissioners in a few OK counties have implemented a county burn ban after the Governor's Burn Ban for their area was lifted. Apparently they looked at their conditions and felt like they wanted to keep a burn ban in place a little bit longer.

Carol, Other than the peppers, was most of the garden okay after the hail storm? How's the Seminole pumpkins doing?

Larry, I always wait and wait and wait for rain and when it doesn't fall, I finally break down and water the garden. Then, out of the blue, rain will fall. It drives me crazy.

There's an area behind the garage where I've long wanted to break up the ground and amend it and have additional garden space. The problem is that it is such dense clay that even the big rear-tine tiller just bounces off the ground when the ground is dry, and it is hard to hit it at the right time after a heavy rainfall. It seems like it stays too wet to till until, suddenly and seemingly overnight, it is then too dry to till. I don't think I'd ever be able to grow root crops in it because, like your sweet potato area, it likely would be hard to dig in summer or fall, but I think it could be a good area for corn or, if well-amended, for winter squash.

The soil in the big garden is already fairly dry even though we had good rainfall on Wednesday. The dry ground just sucks up the water like a sponge.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Current Burn Ban Map


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Dawn I've learned to take our weather one day at a time. No one can predict the weather accurately 3 days ahead let alone a year or more. But this morning read an article in the Amarillo TX paper where some expert stated that we were entering a 20-30 year drought cycle. Not even during the 30's did we see that. It won't change my plans much. I will adjust my planting some but will base it more on what Mother nature tells me rather than what some "expert" states at some seminar. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: 20 Year drought cycle.


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Jay, This is such dreadful news! Even in the 1930s and 1950s it was closer to 6 or 7 consecutive drought years. Let's hope that expert is wrong1

Like you, I take my cues from Mother Nature, but based on the weather we've had at our house the last 10 years, I now expect drought to some degree in 7 or 8 years out of 10, and I have stopped planting anything ornamental that is not highly drought-tolerant and tough.

If that expert is true, then drip irrigation and heavy mulching as well as collecting as much rainfall for future use as possible will become even more important in the future.

Friends of ours recently put in a huge outdoor horse arena with a metal roof. I'm guessing it is about 150' x 200' with a rainwater collection system with a filtering system so that the water is potable, It has a 60,000 gallon cistern. Isn't that awesome and far-sighted on their part? I'd love to put in a cistern that would hold unfiltered rainfall for future irrigation needs, and catch the rain off our much smaller barn-style garage. I do catch a lot of rain in rain barrels, but with a big cistern it would be easier to catch a lot more, and much easier to manage it in one big cistern or tank than in multiple rain barrels.

It is raining here this morning, though the rain is very light. So far there's only 0.20" in the rain gauge, but at least it is falling slowly and will soak into the ground. I don't expect big multi-inch rainfall totals, but any rain is good.

Dawn


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Dawn I have been around long enough where I've seen the long term experts predict global cooling and then global warming, have seen many predictions of drought and also wet spells that didn't pan out. If you go back as recently as the first of the year. Most were saying we would see a deepening drought through June and then a reversal and a gradual return to normal temps and rainfall by mid July. We experienced just the reverse here. A decent spring where I had to mow 3 times before June 1st and only once since. Even though the statement was only made Thursday there has already been some experts on the other side saying that they don't see what this one is stating. In the end we have to remember it is one person/one group's opinion and nothing more. I always remember a similar situation several years ago with another long term forecaster predicted a prolonged drought, ect. When he was finished he mingled with those in attendance. An old farmer asked him how certain he was about his prediction. He stated an percentage that was very high. I believe in the 80 percent range. The farmer then said I would suppose if you are that certain and feel that I should use your opinion in my farming decision that you would be willing to bet a years salary on it. He stated no. At which the farmer said if you don't have faith in your prediction why should I. I don't believe in trends. And feel we are in a trend towards a period of less average rainfall. I would say a period of ten years or so. And our reduced rainfall really started in 05. And the extreme drought period in 08. So I expect our to at least moderate and find a new normal for a few years. I remember a ten year period where our average was around 14.5 inches and then a stretch where our ten year average reached almost 17 inches before heading back down. But I don't feel we will see many years below 10 inches. Then again that is my opinion only. If I felt that I would either move or quit gardening. Jay


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Jay, Yikes! I remember the predictions of global cooling in the 1960s too. Guess we're getting a little bit older, aren't we? Those never panned out.

My weather was more like yours this year---a decent early spring, followed by a dry May, but then with 7" of rain in latest May/earliest June. I think that 7" rainy spell saved my tomato crop and ended up giving us a heavy tomato harvest deeply into July. We also managed to stay out of Exceptional Drought altogether this year I think, and only slipped into Extreme drought briefly. Every time our KBDI got near 700, we'd have a couple of inches of rain and would find ourselves back in the 500s or 600s. Then, when most of the rest of OK started seeing drought improvement several weeks ago, we kept getting worse and worse. I believe the rain that fell from Wed. through this morning will bring us much improvement now, and our drought conditions will be more 'in step' with the rest of the state. We didn't really have the wet months and the dry months in the order that were forecast for us, and were on a drought/rainfall roller coaster, but it worked out okay when all was said and done.

I do listen to the predictions of what the weather pattern will be next week or next month or next winter or next year, but don't believe much of what they say. I just wait to see what actually happens. I try to take the long-term forecasts into consideration when planning next year's grow list and buying seeds in advance, but I always have my planting options figured out so that I can add more varieties to the bare-bones list if the weather is staying wetter than forecast. That's what I did in 2012. When the December and January rainfall were high and temperatures were much above average, I decided to gamble and start seeds early in order to be able to plant early and take advantage of the warmer and wetter weather. When the moisture continued into February and March, I sowed tons more tomato varieties than I'd initially planned to plant. It ended up working out really, really well. When the weather turns out to be better than forecast, I quickly take advantage of than trend and it usually pays off.

I believe in trends too, and don't like the trending of the patterns since about 2005, which was a horrific drought year in our county and a very, very bad fire year for us. Our fire season that year started for us right after Halloween 2005 and didn't end until early in 2007. We had a brief respite in April 2006 after 9.25" of rain fell in one day, but were having serious wildfires again about 6 weeks later. At certain extra-dry times, we had as many as 5 grassfires, brushfires or wildfires per day and often were racing from one fire to another. For me, that was the beginning of the drought years which have plagued us ever since, though 2007 was very wet and 2010 was really nice, and they both went against the otherwise dry and hot trend.

I'd move too if I were you and the 10" of rain-per-year trend continued to drag on and on. I'm not even happy in my county when the rainfall is below 30". I don't think we'll move if this area grows increasingly drier over the coming years because when we moved here we decided this was the last move we'd make, but I'd alter my gardening practices and probably grow much more in containers and much less in the ground.

Dawn


 o
RE: It Rained Here This Morning

Interesting weather article.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antarctica Ice


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here