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We need rain here!

Posted by artrageous z7 Central VA (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 22, 06 at 15:55

I'm just west of Charlottesville and it is so, so dry here! Due to "voluntary" water conservation requests due to drought conditions (which are almost guaranteed to change to mandatory restrictions very, very soon...) I haven't watered much at all. But oh my gosh, it's in the mid to upper 90s today and I can look out my windows and see some of my *established* plants starting to wilt! They're going to get at least *something* to drink this evening.

Is it dry all over the state? Seems to me that the coastal regions have had a lot more storms/rain than we've gotten. Anyone else dealing with water restrictions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: We need rain here!

No restrictions here in Chesterfield yet. We've gotten a few hit & miss storms but it's getting dry now. 101 degrees on my north-facing, shady front porch this afternoon. Everything's wilting but should perk up over night. Chance of storms in the forecast for every day in the 7 day prognostication. 'Twould be nice.


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RE: We need rain here!

No restrictions in Fairfax -- I think because *some* portion of the county has gotten some rain at some point! Dulles and National seem to always have some rain measured whenever there is a cloud around.

However, my garden received 1/4" from February to April's 3/4" and finally another 1 1/2" last weekend. I know they are saying to expect 3" by Monday, but we've heard that a lot in the past couple months, without actually seeing rain in our neighborhood. Laundry water has been keeping the perennials alive, but we've had to irrigate just to provide moisture for veg seeds to sprout, and irrigation is the only thing keeping the veg plants alive. The garden has been minimized to about one-fifth the usual number of plants, and I think some of those are going to be let go rather than continue to water. I really hate having to decide between growing my own organic vegs, or using the water to keep 'established' perennials alive /..\


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RE: We need rain here!

Meldy, I've gone back to the Ruth Stout method for my veggies (deep hay/straw/leaves mulch) and haven't had any stress or strain on them from lack of rain. I put down about 10" of loose straw around everything and no weeds and lots of loose, moist soil resulted. The unplanted portion of the large garden is dry and weedy. I used to use a similar method years ago and had gotten away from it. The garden had suffered and so had I!


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RE: We need rain here!

Here in the Alleghany Highlands, it's been bone dry, a shower here and there, but nowhere near what's needed. There's rumor of showers and thunderstorms over the next five days. We shall see if anything comes of it

I second the mulching suggestion. Have been putting down straw - three or four inches, usually, as a start - around all the newly sited plants this season. It's not the best aesthetically, but is really good at retaining water. I have used it in the vegetable garden for years now and have been impressed by how just a few inches of straw can keep the ground beneath damp for several days, even under blistering heat and dry winds.


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RE: We need rain here!

Hi, Sandy -Glad you are going for the deep mulch. My mum corresponded w/RS, so I literally grew up with that practice [altho mum's 1/2 acre garden wasn't enclosed] and I *know* a thick mulch is effective - and I think it's funny that nearly 60 years later there are *still* folks who think deep mulch doesn't work! A thick mulch will indeed slow down the rate of evaporation, and a good organically-enriched soil will help hold water -- but if there isn't much precipitation and you don't irrigate, then eventually the point does come when all the water has either percolated down, evaporated up, or been used by the plants! I'm in a sort of weather-doughnut hole, where you can go a block south or east or north and find rain pouring while not one raindrop descends on my street. This anomaly is why I keep track of actual rainfall received.... and we have been on the negative count for almost a year now. Think about it: we have had just a bit more than two inches of rain in the past 150 days. Yup, there's a reason the ground is a bit dry.


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RE: We need rain here!

--I'm in a sort of weather-doughnut hole, where you can go a block south or east or north and find rain pouring while not one raindrop descends on my street.--

That's kind of the way it is here!

This morning I looked at radar at weather.com and knew we had a chance for some good rain. (By "good rain" I mean probably less than 1/4" but ANY rain is "good rain" at this point...)

Yes, we did get "rain" but only because this little blip on the radar screen kind of clipped us before moving on north and west. It wasn't even enough to settle the dust. :-(


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RE: We need rain here!

Wow. I didn't want a month's worth of rain in one night! My rain gauge must have a crack in it because I know we got a LOT more than half an inch. Bad storms knocked out my power a little after 8 pm and it didn't come on until now (about 12:45 am). My birdbaths are overflowing!


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RE: We need rain here!

My area SW of Richmond has gotten less than half an inch so far from this "stormy" spell. Everything seems to be going somewhere else. We've laughed at the forecasts with the high percentage for chances of rain. (Maybe we should be careful what we laugh at. We just might get a deluge before it settles down.)


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RE: We need rain here!

Hopefully you will get in on some of this action some of us to your south have been dealing with!


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RE: We need rain here!

Annandale/Alex area
1.2" Saturday a.m.
1.35" Sunday a.m.
6+" Monday a.m. (the gauge is overflowing)

Not a mis-print! That is over 8.5" so far. And on Friday and Saturday we definitely had less than our neighbors to the south and east.

The nice part is that the rain on Friday and Saturday mostly came down slowly with pauses, so the soil had a chance to absorb it. But, enough is enough. Yeah, I heard, they are calling for more rain today, tonight, and tomorrow.


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RE: We need rain here!

I'm not sure how much we've gotten (discovered that my rain gauge must have a crack in it..sigh) but I'm guessing 6-8" so far.

I hope this will help fill the local reservoirs and relieve the drought conditions and water restrictions!


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RE: We need rain here!

Be careful what you wish for, as the old saying goes.

There was apparently flooding in the western and southern parts of the county. We were spared that particular outrage, but have received 4" or more of the wet stuff since late Friday afternoon.


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RE: We need rain here!

Wow! Ask and you shall receive. Next time will you try and post your request for rain on a Monday. ;-) WTOP mentioned something about the yearly rain deficit going from -5" to +1" because of yesterday's 6".

- Brent


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RE: We need rain here!

Well, meldy and artrageous, I'm glad your doughnut holes have been sufficiently dunked!
We've had pretty consistent rains about once a week for the past several, so I am feeling pretty blessed in the rain department this year. And if the continued rain keeps things cool, I'm certainly not going to complain.
-Stephanie


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RE: We need rain here!

I complained a lot yesterday. Spent it sitting on the neighbor's porch watching the downpour instead of moving plants and digging in the dirt. Still, I am very glad for the rain and, as Meldy said, it came quite gently on Friday and Saturday and so had time to soak in a bit.

Looks set to keep coming the rest of the week...


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RE: We need rain here!

Another one of those "donut holes" got a decent soaking today. We've had about 1.5" so far in my yard. That's nice. That's enough! We can wait another couple of weeks for more. We certainly don't need the foot or more that some folks got. Maybe we can send the rest of it out west where they need it worse than we do. ;-)


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RE: We need rain here!

The blessing has becoem a curse. Since Thursday the 22nd, when we got 2.2" (in Manassas), we've had 7.7+" (rain gauge overflowed at 5.5 inches while we were out of town and then another 2" came along). And now I'm sure there are more than 2" in the rain gauge from last night's downpour. If so, that's almost a foot of rain in 6 days. The garden is super-saturated. The carrots are starting to get mushy at the ends, and even the ones that are not mushy are not tasting good. That whole crop is gone, I'm afraid. And I know there are people in the state who have more sadness from this continual rain than wet carrots. Enough already, please!


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RE: We need rain here!

Be careful what you ask for... you just might get it!

A friend tells the tale of a small congregation that asked their pastor to pray for rain. Seems they had been experiencing an extended drought and sought divine intervention. The pastor kept telling them there was nothing in the prayer book so he couldn't do it. Well, after repeated requests, he finally gave in and one Sunday asked God to send them rain. You can imagine the rest of the story... huricane rains and flooding the following week. So the next Sunday, the congregation prayed for "moderation in the weather!"


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RE: We need rain here!

Several years ago during an extremely mild winter, I and several others did a "snow dance" version of the bunny-hop up and down the halls (proof that prim and proper school staff can occasionally do strange things); this was followed by 15" of snow. Co-workers have not forgotten that event. This past Tuesday, we posted a sign saying: "No, we did not do a rain dance!"


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RE: We need rain here!

::Several years ago during an extremely mild winter, I and several others did a "snow dance" version of the bunny-hop up and down the halls (proof that prim and proper school staff can occasionally do strange things); this was followed by 15" of snow. Co-workers have not forgotten that event. This past Tuesday, we posted a sign saying: "No, we did not do a rain dance!"::

Too funny! What do you teach? I'm an art teacher so occasional bizarre behavior is to be expected. ;-)


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RE: We need rain here!

I haven't the patience or the endurance to be a teacher, although I did spend several years as a teacher's aide in both elementary and middle schools. I now work in the administrative side; databasing and monitoring special education eligibility information, which means I work with teachers as well as the usual admin staff. Admin staff is, of course, supposed to be very proper in attire and attitude (they're setting an example?!), and the snow dance took place in what was probably the most staid, formal, and quietly proper of all admin offices. To this day, the snow dance is spoken of in hushed tones -- except for the participants, who still have a tendency to snicker whenever anyone begins to hum... put your right foot forward, put your left foot out...


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RE: We need rain here!

Suppose you do a 'hit the jackpot on Mega Millions' dance instead?

Brenda


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