Monday, July 27, 2009


Since June 10th I have recorded over 10 inches of rain at my house. I know parts of this country (especially Texas) are in a severe drought but up here we've got flood warnings and unripened tomatoes (it hasn't been warm enough for them).

Gardeners are naturally obsessed with the weather. It has such a major impact on our gardens. Years ago I signed up as a volunteer weather observer for the National Weather Service. The volunteer program has since been turned over to a non-profit but I am still collecting weather information. The new program is called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Check it out at You can look at rainfall across your state from volunteers like me or sign up yourself.

CoCoRaHS makes its data available to meterologists, climatologists, and whoever else so they can study the weather, make better predictions, learn about microclimates and who knows what all. I just know it's fun when I report heavy rain or hail and then see the local weatherman announce my report on the news.

It's easy to be a CoCoRaHS volunteer. You do have to buy a 'fancy' rain gauge. My rain gauge will hold up to 11 inches of rain and will measure it to the hundreth of an inch. I know I'll need to be reporting snowfall this winter, which has never really been an issue for me before. I guess I'll have to view the on-line tutorial.

I also record my rainfall for my own use. Theoretically, if I can live in one place long enough, I can follow rainfall patterns to help improve my gardening. Theoretically.

Meanwhile my grass is overgrown, the weeds are getting high and the grass I had planned to remove around my new plantings is still in place. The good news is that I haven't needed to water any of my new plants!

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