Week 19 in Your Vegetable Garden

Week 19, May 10 – 16

Okay, I admit to some obsessive behavior back in my homesteading days.  It is true.  I had a rig that measured the high and low temperatures of inside the house, outside the house, inside the greenhouse, four inches down in the garden soil, and I can’t believe I also kept track remotely of the temperatures in the middle of my compost pile.  This system was all connected to a monitor in my kitchen by means of wires, lots of wires.  In theory, it seemed like a good idea.  In practice I kept accidentally cutting the wires with a shovel or a spade or some other tool of mass destruction.

In recent years I have tried to simplify things on the weather monitoring side of my life.  For years now I’ve had a big two foot long rain gauge that has worked pretty well, except for those few years I forgot to bring it in for winter so it was broken by freezing water. Called EZ-Read Rain Gauge available at National Garden Association.   I’ve tried a number of indoor/outdoor thermometers that have a sensor on a wire that you stick out through a window frame.  After moving several times and forgetting to take the device, I opted for a thermometer in the house and a separate large thermometer on the back porch.

You may not believe this but my favorite weather tool is what is called a Maine Weather Stick.  (From their ad) Maine Woodsman’s Weather sticks have been predicting the weather, delighting their owners, and amazing new acquaintances all around the world for over ten years. Long before that the Abanaki Indians probably used them as hostess gifts when they went to dinner in neighboring wigwams! Hang on an outside wall or door casing exposed to the weather, stick bends down to foretell foul weather up for fair (unless you’ve hung it upside down – the hole goes on top)! approximately 12″ – 16″ long. Each stick comes packaged with story of weather stick and simple instructions. For only 8$ get your weather stick athttp://mainelineproducts.com/retail/.

Oh yes, one additional confession.  Eons ago, when I got out of the navy, my Dad gave me a nicely finished wooden plaque with a barometer, a thermometer and a humidistat mounted with pretty brass fittings.  I have had that rig hanging on a wall someplace in all my many residences including in my current abode, and I have never used it.  It seems like a good idea to keep track of the barometric reading, but after setting it a couple of times for two or three days, it gets forgotten.

As I have mentioned earlier is several of these potager posts, my favorite measuring tool is a soil thermometer.  I described them and their use in a blog post on March 25th; go to the blog search and type in “soil temperature”.

What’s Going In Nature

The Monarch butterflies are arriving from Mexico and the juncos are going north to the Arctic.  We expect many fewer Monarchs because of terrible storms in Mexico this winter where the Monarchs were living.

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