So it’s not really an exciting time for gardening. The weather is still too cold to put anything in the ground and while we could be adding a little more soil to our bed, we’re just waiting for a good sale since it isn’t time sensitive. But there are all of the logistical types of things that I can work on now that will set us up for a better garden in the fall. And since it was a nice and sunny and warm (in the sunshine) Saturday, I figured I’d try and knock a few of them out.
First up was attaching the rain barrel to the downspout next to it so that it will refill itself when we water our (hopefully) abundant crops. We ordered a rain diverter from Amazon.com a few weeks ago and in looking at some of them online, it seemed like a fairly simple process of cutting the downspout, installing the diverter, connecting the hose, and watching your bucket fill with reclaimed rainwater. Alas, twas not to be. We had ordered the wrong size for our downspout and after a trip to a couple of stores there weren’t either a right sized replacement or a feasible work-around. So now it’s back to the interwebs to try and find a decent one that will work with our size downspout. Strike one.
In the middle of all of that, I ran inside to check to see if there was an adapter online and also to check the Amazon.com description to see if it was possible to make the diverter work with a larger downspout but alas, no luck. But while I was inside, I had left the door from our kitchen out to our patio open to get some fresh air in (we sanded and then resealed our butcher block countertops this morning and the smell was pungent). A bird decided to take that opportunity to fly into our house and as I came out of the office, it was flying around the house trying to get our via the skylight and upper windows. Great. So I chased it around for a good 15 minutes, throwing my hat near it to try and herd it towards one of the other open doors/windows so that it could make it back outside. Strike two.
My second project of the day was to take the regular and soaker hoses that I had purchased to get above rainwater into our garden and to cut them down so that they fit where I needed them to and would not have 10 feet of excess hose coiled somewhere. I’ve replaced the ends of hoses before and actually had a couple of male adapters laying around so I figured it’d be an easy chop and a quick twist of a screw and we’d be in business. You’d think I’d have learned from the failure of the first project of the day…once again, the adapters that I had were the wrong size for my hoses, this time being too large. This time though, the second trip to the hardware store did pay off as they did have what I needed and I was able to get my hoses arranged and set like I want them to be. As you can see in the picture, I drilled a hole in the side of the box so that the hose can run straight through instead of having to go up and over. It looks cleaner and more importantly, it keeps the general flow of the water downward, which is important. Once I got everything situated I decided to test it out and went to turn the rain faucet on. Turns out I’d left the faucet on from the initial hookup of the hose and now the rain barrel is pretty much empty. Good thing I have a divert…oh wait. Strike three.
As you might have noticed, I’ve called this whole series/journey “Adventures in Learning to Garden”. So today I learned that downspouts come in at least 2 sizes, birds will fly in your house if you forget to close the screen door, and the watering system does indeed work, and it works well enough to drain my whole rain barrel. It’s frustrating for sure, but I guess this is all part of the process.