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Drought

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Re: Drought

Post  ksbmom on 4/19/2012, 9:42 am

Piffle & Balderdash Laughing .. lawns were invented by god to hide weeds

In my neck of the woods (Central Florida) the weeds ARE the lawn! I tell my husband that if it's green, it's OK with me! We've given up on grass after watching all the neighbors struggle with seed, water, etc. and then their "lawns" end up looking just like ours - covered with every weed in the county. We don't water - just wait until summer rains come and then everything greens up very quickly.....provided we get rain this year, that is. Thankfully we don't live in a community that has deed restrictions so there's not an association that will fine us if our grass is brown.....Laughing

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Re: Drought

Post  KDeus on 4/19/2012, 9:53 am

At least the HOA can't see the backyard behind the fence! Smile

Yes, it is frustrating. At about $120 a pallet and about 3 needed for just the front yard, it gets to be something you pretty much have to budget for each year. Then laying it all yourself in the hot weather. I think one year, we did most of the digging of the irrigation system and laying of the sod at night under portable lighting just to stay cool enough. Thankfully, the side yards do well unless the neighbors have a problem with the mole crickets or chinch bugs. First sign of see of them in their yards, our yard gets treated.

The rain clouds have been hovering overhead since yesterday. It produced some misting yesterday for about 30 minutes and maybe today we'll get a good downpour. We have a weather station set up and I just checked it. We've had 2.74" since January 1.

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Re: Drought

Post  camprn on 4/19/2012, 10:20 am

In my neighborhood just a bit more than one inch of rain in the past 90 days. Shocked It is supposed to rain tomorrow... maybe I will go do a rain dance , just for insurance purposes.

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Re: Drought

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/19/2012, 10:23 am

We're having rain too....Looks like from Saturday into early next week will be a washout cheers

Since I unexpectly have today off, and since the weather over the weekend will be wet, I decided to have the topsoil delivered today. Now I get to fill in the bottoms of my boxes.

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Re: Drought

Post  No_Such_Reality on 4/19/2012, 12:54 pm

@GWN wrote:All landscape is painful to lie down on, but if you had a choice between growing your own food or lying on the ground would you take it.
Q

Both.

Properly maintained and planned, an edible yard is great. Not properly maintained and it's a mess and nuisance. Other landscaping tends to be more tolerant of occasional neglect, the lawn, well irrigation timers and a bi-weekly mowing and you're largely good.

Honestly, when we were looking for a home, one we saw had raised beds for SFG in the front yard. Four long thin ones. Ugliest curb side appeal in the neighborhood and worse than many foreclosures. Granted, the owners had moved out of state and entrusted the Agent to keep it watered and cared. In one month, a complete mess.

We're replanning our front yard to add a fence. We will be keeping the small lawn and trees and hoping to pick up some pointers from The Edible Front Yard. A rosemary bush, maybe some fennel, some blue berry bushes, still thinking it through. We love the flowers and little grass and will keep that but will also be looking to extend.

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/19/2012, 2:18 pm

Well, we got a sprinkling last night after all...which barely did anything for the plants but was enough to hike up the humidity quite a bit. Yuck, it's muggy out there. We have another chance for rain this weekend, so I'll be doing the rain dance too.

@ Plantoid: I LIKE the idea of putting something in the tank to displace
the water!!! That will be implemented ASAP, and perhaps we can get by
for another year or more before replacing those things. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

@ my fellow Floridians: You're all making me very grateful there is not a homeowner's association here. I can do whatever I darn well please, and I please to leave the weeds in the yard; they're too expensive to battle and I have far better places to spend my money...like building more boxes in my SFG. Wink I'm far more concerned with things like chinch bugs and ants, anyway. As soon as possible, I'll be taking out a large portion of lawn in the front, simply because I want lots & lots of flowers...drought tolerant types, of course!

Now if I can just get rid of those darn ants without hurting things I want to have in the garden...It's amazing to me how they can thrive in this drought!

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Re: Drought

Post  ksbmom on 4/19/2012, 2:34 pm

Oh the ants!!! I don't think we can get rid of them; at best I tolerate them. I think our chickens take care of their fair share of them, but just when I think I can walk out in my flip flops - my feet are full of fire ant bites!Evil or Very Mad Where in NE Florida are you, Michelle? I'm in the North Tampa area, and I just heard on the radio that they are downgrading our chance of rain for the weekend. Felt a few slight sprinkles today but I think that's all we're going to get.

I, too, am glad we don't have a HOA - I know we'd continually be on their "bad list". I love the individuality of all the different houses/yards. I think I'd go nuts if I had to live where everyone's houses had to be the same.

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/19/2012, 3:05 pm

I'm in Lake City; it's at the junction of I-10 and I-75. So far they haven't downgraded our chance of rain this weekend, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The humidity went up to 61% today. Maybe that'll help the firefighters fight down all those forest fires. Another thing to cross fingers on!

Ants...we have fire ants, black ants, sugar ants, you name it! One nest just poked a hill up right next to my 1'x4' pumpkin box. I'm afraid that's simply not going to work; they have to go. Twisted Evil I just sprinkled some hot pepper on their "doorway" to see what will happen.

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Re: Drought

Post  plantoid on 4/19/2012, 4:25 pm

Here in the UK we sprinkle some borax crystals/ powder close to the hill and use a triggerpack spray with a bit of water to damp it down ...that sorts out most ants nests as they take the borax back ito the nest with the moisture .

It is cheap enough to try and do your mob in .. if you do try it & get success post it on here with any brand names etc.etc.

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Re: Drought

Post  plantoid on 4/19/2012, 4:36 pm

@GWN wrote:
Piffle & Balderdash .. lawns were invented by god to hide weeds and to give you somewhere to walk up & down whilst observing nature and what youhave done twice a week without leaving home.

Lawns were originally patches of grass & weeds cropped short by geese & ducks or sheep & yes they did get developed as defence things as well .. Youn try hiding on a cropped 1 " high expanse of sloping ground that has been lanscaped smooth devoid of trees ....Zap ....an arrow through the chest PDQ thats for sure or at the very least a couple of dozen decent sized rocks from above you to split your head open or break limbs .

Although (of course) I cannot find evidence, I have read where the old castles of england were once surrounded by forest and the area surrounding the castles were thus planted with grass to give the castle owners an early opportunity to see pillagers from afar...



From my pocket book on castle defence .. the pages are well worn for it goes back to earth works , mote & bailey right up to the last castle built in the UK at Fort George Inverness Scotland



Defending Castles
The castle architect had many ways to keep attackers out:

Location - perched high on a hill with limited and difficult access; surrounded by wet ground to make access difficult and mining impossible; built on the coast or around a large river to provide easy access as well as an escape route.

Shape - a circular castle provided no corners for miners to expose; overhanging circular towers provided clear lines of sight for the archers; concentric castles with many walls made access progressively more difficult; skirts around the base of the castle walls denied battering rams a flat surface as well as providing a slope for the defenders to drop boulders on to so that they would then bounce along the ground and under the cover of advancing battering rams.

The earth landscaping at most castles is phenominal often in 40 to 45 dgress slopes , it is very hard to run up & an absolute nightmare to try when the grass is damp .


Last edited by plantoid on 4/19/2012, 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Drought

Post  camprn on 4/19/2012, 7:35 pm

Plantoid, seeing as how this is a thread on drought and I am a sucker for a history lesson any day of the week... How did they get drinking water in the castles and other fortifications? study

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Re: Drought

Post  ericam on 4/20/2012, 12:28 am

Most castles would have had a well I would assume. Dig a deep enough hole and eventually you hit water!

I feel for you guys with the drought over there, we were like that a few years back, major water restrictions and the major dam in Sydney got down to less than 30% full. Now the weather has gone the other way and there's been a lot of flooding and about a month ago the dam hit 100% and overflowed for the first time in 14 years! It's rained a lot this week too, someone told me the other day that we were going to get the average April rainfall in this week alone.

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/20/2012, 12:47 am

We actually got more rain tonight! That's two nights in a row; must be a record for the year. Very Happy I haven't looked to see what the amount was.

@ Camp: I read somewhere a few years ago that if they didn't have a well, they had a spring coming up somewhere within the castle walls.

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Re: Drought

Post  GWN on 4/20/2012, 1:49 am

OK
SO all of those castles have PLENTYish LAWN surrounding them, they obviously had already cut down all the trees before the pictures.
Can't you just picture all the trees that WOULD have been there if it had not been for that Darned LAWN?

I think that Lawns are one of the biggest threats to our environment. Period!
More fish die every year so that people can maintain perfect lawns.
Where does all that stuff run off to after your lawn??

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Re: Drought

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/20/2012, 8:29 am

Hey GWN,

I appreciate where you're coming from, I really do, but not every patch of grass was where trees once stood.

That being said, those castles are awesome looking What a Face

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Re: Drought

Post  rod champion on 4/20/2012, 9:33 am

I tried to get a plumber to hook up pipes from bath and sinks.. state will not let him. If done, we will have to just do it.

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Re: Drought

Post  Turan on 4/20/2012, 11:20 am

I used to put the washing machine out hose into a large plastic garbage can. From there I could bucket the water to the toilet as needed or siphon out to the garden. It is not very hard to also disconnect the U under a sink and put a bucket there.

A lawn is where you keep the vegetation short for easy playing on. Here we use sheep and horses for mowing.

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/20/2012, 11:32 am

For those of you who have used laundry water and sink water, I assume that you're using organic, or at least natural soaps...did that water cause you any problems when using it in the garden? We have natural/organic soaps, but I get concerned that things like essential oils, vinegar and baking soda used in the soaps could mess with the pH and such.

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Re: Drought

Post  Turan on 4/20/2012, 12:09 pm

@givvmistamps wrote:For those of you who have used laundry water and sink water, I assume that you're using organic, or at least natural soaps...did that water cause you any problems when using it in the garden? We have natural/organic soaps, but I get concerned that things like essential oils, vinegar and baking soda used in the soaps could mess with the pH and such.

My vegatables were too far from the house at that place so I used the gray water on the flowers and lawn and trees near by. The only thing that DID harm plants was when I used borax in the washing machine. But ordinary detergents did not. I used Arm and Hammer detergent back in those days. A lot of soaps are alkaline (organic or not), so over time it would pull the soil that way. MM seems to run acidic with all that peat, a lot of commercial potting soils with peat in them add lime to balance that. So it is something to think about. I bet the boys would enjoy checking the ph of everything in the yard and house and you could adjust pH with vinegar which they would love as well Very Happy (I home schooled my boys for awhile....)

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/20/2012, 12:36 pm

Great idea Turan! I'm already treating the garden as a biology lesson...why not add a little (safe) chemistry to the teaching! Now I'll just have to decide whether to get one of those multi-meters or a true soil chemistry kit. They'd enjoy using the vials and reactants, watching the colors change, etc, but then I'd have to replace reactants every so often. I'll have to ask my husband to bring home a catalog from the college and see what the pricing would be...

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Re: Drought

Post  Turan on 4/20/2012, 12:43 pm

Why not just get some pH paper for a start? http://www.amazon.com/ColorpHast-9590-3-Test-Strips-0-14/dp/B003TV3GTY/ref=pd_sbs_indust_2 this is what I use. I make a solution with water and test the result.

There are soil test kits we had fun with too.

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/20/2012, 2:08 pm

That's worth a try for a start. Anything that does "cool stuff" will grab the boys' attention. Very Happy

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Re: Drought

Post  camprn on 4/22/2012, 8:28 am

NOAA Seasonal Forecast<~~~click

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Re: Drought

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/22/2012, 8:38 am

It's dry as a bone here. The farmers started irrigating this past week Evil or Very Mad It's way to early to be irrigating here in Colorado. Last year we were into June before they opened the gates No We need some good MEASURABLE rain desperately. I think the last I heard, our snow pack was in the 40-ish percentile. Not good to be taking from our water resources so early...

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Re: Drought

Post  givvmistamps on 4/22/2012, 9:20 am

Sorry things are so bad there, Rooster! I know your pain, as I've shown in recent posts.

However, I simply have to say cheers cheers cheers for a forecast of some improvement in my region. It's funny, a few days ago we had some sprinkles...But this weekend it's been raining on & off for 12+ hours, some of it pounding rain; mostly a lighter, soaking rain. My garden has gotten a good, long drink! I'm pretty sure we're seeing the last of it right now. The forecast for the next ten days shows only one day with a 30% chance of rain a few days with 10%, and several days with 0%. Hopefully the experts are wrong about that! At least I won't have to water for a few days...unless it gets really hot again.

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Re: Drought

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