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The Importance Of Measuring Rainfall Accurately

You garden looks dry, but you think to yourself, "It just rained! How can that be?" Well, our perception of rainfall is not always accurate. You might hear a shower in the middle of the night and think there's enough water

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falling from the sky to be beneficial, when in reality, most of the rain ran down the road or just was not hard enough.

I'm a huge advocate of rain gauges. They allow us to judge more accurately how much water has fallen. Even with a gauge, however, there can be problems. An inch of rain in 15 minutes will not be nearly as helpful as an inch of rain in 12 hours. If the ground is very dry and it rains really hard, much of the water runs off and never gets to the roots.

As a general rule, your garden requires an inch of water per week. A rain gauge is the best way to determine how much water you're getting, but you can also put out an empty tuna can to measure rainfall, because a full tuna can is equal to about one inch of water. Remember to account for evaporation and heavy rainfall.

If you know how much rain has fallen, you'll be better able to determine when to augment Mother Nature with your garden hose or irrigation system.

 

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