Raining Cats and Dogs

Yesterday it just poured. It rained so hard for a couple minutes that I could not see the house across the street from the office window. Amazing. When the deluge let up, I went out to check the defenses.

This is the percolation basin, after an hour of draining. When I peeked at it through the window, the whole lower level was full, but that was when it was still pouring out.

Little lake

For some perspective, here is the strawberry bed, which is above the percolation basin. Part of why everything was so flooded was that the emergency overflow on the water tank had triggered and the sprinklers had basically been running all night and day.

Drowning strawberries

In fact, they had not been able to keep up with the flow of water from the sump. The tank was overflowing dramatically, and a large lake of water sat alongside the house.

Overflowing tank

We now recognize the sound of the tank overflowing -- a splashing sound right outside the bathroom. The cure is to disconnect the hose from the sump and run it out into the yard. When the tank has been run down a bit by the system, we can turn off the irrigation system until the rain dies down.

Water pouring out of the tank

It's a little involved right now -- we do need to come up with a better overflow system that is more failsafe. But there's no real danger involved in it not working for 24 hours, so there hasn't been a pressing need.

Anyway, the trees are liking the rain. Even with high winds that whipped water through the sides of the roof and into our dining room (we have no roof leaks, but there is that gap where the wooden gutters rotted away), the blossoms on the apricot are intact:

Apricot blossom

And the nectarines seem to be doing well, too. Though I'm getting a little tired of having to go out and spray them with copper every other day after the rain washes the previous application off.

Nectarine blossom

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posted by ayse on 03/04/10

3 Comments

The rain at about 0430 on Wednesday was insane just up the road here in El Cerrito. I was up feeding the kid and the water cascading down the hill on the street was impressive. A Midwest level of rain.

You mentioned spraying the apricots and nectarines with copper. What does the copper do for the fruit?

Carrie, the copper is copper sulfate, and it is used to help control peach leaf curl, which is a bacterial infection. You spray it on before bud break, and it is gone by the time the fruit appears, so it has no effect on the fruit apart from removing the illness stress from the tree. I also read that it might be helpful with fireblight, so I sprayed it on the apples, Asian pears, and quince as well.

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