A bit damp here

I am just about to plant my winter seedlings, mostly brassicas.
That will have to wait for a while since we had 90mm (3 1/2 in) of rain over night. There has been much more nearer the coast, over 200mm (8in) at one place. The river is up about 12m (40ft) and the outflow of my dam is running backwards, that is the dam is filling (well over-filling) from the river. The soil will be rather too wet for a few days at least.
I will not be going anywhere today as the road will be cut. How long that remains depends on how much more rain falls today.
Breaking news! A bunch of campers were marooned on the roof of buildings at the showground of a town near here and two were missing for a while but appear to have been found. Details are dodgy.
--
David

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On 4/20/2015 6:53 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Given the usual drought problems it would be wonderful to be able to store all of that water until it is needed in the dry season. It don't rain but it pours.
We were hit by a sudden sky-ripping storm last night. Looked quite innocuous on the radar map, narrow and fast-moving, but my area must have experienced a micro burst taking down and breaking large trees and the power went out at 21:05. It came back for me at 02:30 but some folks up the road didn't get it back until 10:00. Wouldn't normally care much and I'm used to it after 16 years but now I have my elderly mom living here and being in pitch darkness combined with disorientation is not a good combination. Just as the dawn chorus was starting this morning we had an instant replay of the storm but at least the power didn't go out again. No campers on the roof -- they would have probably been blown away.
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John McGaw wrote:

I can store it in a way. When it comes slowly it soaks into the clay subsoil and lasts for months but not overnight.

The rain has stopped now but the water has risen another 2 m (6ft), part of my irrigation that I thought was safe has gone. Mybe i will find it hung on a fence downstream, maybe not.
--
David

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

The river is nearly back in its bank at my place and I can get out now, it probably peaked at about 16m (50ft). This sounds dangerous but it is not a problem here as i didn't build on the flood plain and I don't have big trees near the house.
It was much worse in some places, up to 400mm (16in) fell. And some old towns are built on the floof plain. Whole houses went down the street and people died in a town 40km away. Hundreds of homes were damaged and many thousands are without power due to falling trees nearby (some people never learn) and roofs being ripped off by wind.
At the camping ground enough water went through to have people swimming for their lives and at risk of being taken, apparently they all survived. One building was moved from one side of the rodeo area to the other.
It isn't over yet on the weather radar I have two storms converging on me, never seen that before. The cabbages are on hold.
--
David

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On 4/21/2015 4:38 AM, David Hare-Scott wrote: snip...

Was looking at the coverage on ABC. It does indeed look nasty. The lead video was the house in Dungog being washed away. Best of luck with it.
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Once upon a time on usenet David Hare-Scott wrote:

The tail end of that's been hitting my place for two days now.
My biggest problem when there's lots and lots of rain is all of that water leeching the goodness out of the containers I grow dwarf fruit trees in. I try to get out between the worst of it and suck the water out of the 'saucers' and put it into a barrel. I use a 250ml 'syringe' that is branded 'Masport' was sold for removing oil from a lawnmower engine (and is no loger available new) to do the job. However it's plunger isn't completely water-tight (designed to work in oil) so would love ideas on what else I could use - preferably 500ml or more per 'suck' but I'll consider anything.
It gets frustrating when there's a big downpour not long after I've fertilised the trees. On my budget the fertiliser's expensive so to think of it getting washed straight through the potting media is like throwing money away.
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Shaun.

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On Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:25:41 +1200
<snip>

Can you get/find anything like this in your Country?
http://www.harborfreight.com/multi-use-transfer-pump-66418.html
I've got a similar version (paid much, much more from a Marine Supplier) that has worked good to suck the oil from the differentials on my truck, along with the power steering pump.
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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On Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:24:26 -0400, Leon Fisk

Seems to me it would make a lot more sense during rainy periods to move those potted plants to an area protected from rain... harbor freight sells tarps too, also heavy duty dollies very inexpensively, so does Northerntool.com... an ounce of prevention. Also I would definitely drill a weep hole in those saucers... and if concerned about nutrients it's not difficult to collect that drained water with an inexpensive plastic pan, litter pans for kittens are purrfect and cost about a buck.
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Once upon a time on usenet Brooklyn1 wrote:

The rain is very good for them. It washes the leaves of accumulated dust and debris and they seem to respond well to it, often getting a new flush of growth after rain. They're citrus trees, not house plants. ;-)

I doubt that they post to New Zealand and as I'm an invalid (with an invalid's income) buying tarps and putting them up for rain and removing them for sun seems rather too labour-intensive. I'd need to hire someone to do it.

They wouldn't do the job when each tree pot can 'collect' five litres of water in an hour of heavy rain. I normally leave the water level in the saucers very low but when it rains I go out between downpours, suck the excess water from them and store it for drier weather. I have a row or six 60l black plastic rubbish bins that I put the water in until needed again. Whenever possible I re-purpose mass-produced items that are usually cheap - these cost me $9 each including a lid and I bought them over a couple of months - the lids are a must have to keep mosquitos from breeding in the stored nutrient-filled water.
I try to never let the saucers dry out as I have small aquatic snails in them which eat the algae that grows there and contribute their own manure to the system when I suck water out. I use pots that are fairly tall with the bottom 15% or so (the part that sits in the saucers) filled with pine bark 'nuggets' so the media isn't always soaked. I re-pot about every two years on average (if they're in the largest pots I root prune and replace ~50% of the media - if not I go up a size). Usually by that time the bark is just starting to rot down and become part of the media, which has caused a bit of subsidence and made room for the composted manure / seaweed top-dressing that I do whenever the trees have a growth spurt.
Cheers,
--
Shaun.

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Once upon a time on usenet Leon Fisk wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion Leon. I have something similar which I used to remove crankcase oil from my mower for oil changes now I've repurposed the 'giant syringe' that I got with it. However it wouldn't work well for me for removing water from my plant saucers - I have chronic back pain and can't bend forward for long (and there's not always room to crouch near a potted tree).
Hence the syringe with a couple feet of hose on it works well, I hardly need to bend at all - if only it had a one litre barrel instead of the 250ml that it can suck at a time then life would be easier for me.
Cheers,
--
Shaun.

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On Tue, 5 May 2015 14:09:19 +1200
<snip>

Well, I understand. Some other ideas for you...
Aquarium pump.
Veterinary/livestock supply, may have some large syringes available.
Little pumps you can run/use with a power drill, maybe a battery drill would work. Problem with them though is they usually don't last long pumping dirty (gritty) water:
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=drill+pump
An automotive parts store may have an oil suction pump like this too:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I've had one for a long time. The metal housing is the same as a grease gun uses. You just pull the plunger back and then push it back in to squirt out the contents. The house could be lengthened some I'm sure. If you got one from a local auto supply they could probably sell you some hose too.
I quite often wander around the hardware store looking for things that I can re-purpose to do an odd job. It's become a lot easier now with the internet and good website search functions ;-)
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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Leon Fisk wrote:

often these must be submerged to work very well, but they can be very inexpensive. i have one that i've used here for years to drain the pond and some other low head sump pumping from holes we've done for footings. i think it cost me all of $7 at the pet store. take it apart once in a while to clean and inspect it, but otherwise it's done fine. magnetic impeller.
songbird
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Once upon a time on usenet songbird wrote:

Yep. As I said to Leon I have a few of these around the place but they don't fit into the space around the pots (also I'd need to run around when there's a break in the rain not only with a pump and bucket but also with an extension cord).
Cheers.
--
Shaun.

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Once upon a time on usenet Leon Fisk wrote:

Sorry for the delay in returning to the group and replying.

I keep fish so have these at hand. No chance. Some of the suacers I empty and only 2" wider than the pot and 2" deep. Most aquarium pumps need to be submerged and the ones that don't need to be below the water level and primed then watched so they don't run dry. Not possible, or more accurately practical.

Heh! We think alike. Alas the largest is 50ml and I really want something that can suck up to a litre.

Yep. The other problem is that I'd need to bend down a lot and I have a really bad back.

This is remarkably similat to the 250ml thing I use now (with a length of tube on the end so I don't need to bend so much). However the rubber washer's gone in mine and I can't find a replacement. I'm in New Zealand and this type of thing is impossible to find - at least so far. :-/

I do the same thing. Thanks for your input.
--
Shaun.

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On 21/04/2015 6:38 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

I've been hearing about the weather up your way whilst we were in NZ (from whence we've just returned). Sounds pretty grim. Hope all remains at just a nuisance level for you.
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

which river is it?
your pastures will be happy. :)
hope you find your missing irrigation parts!
songbird
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songbird wrote:

a tributary of the Karuah system

.... as the actress said to the bishop.
--
David

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

are you far enough upstream that you don't have to worry too much about pollution in the river sediments?

ouch!
songbird
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songbird wrote:

Yes the silt is quite Ok. We will not be trudging through the contents of some septic tank nor toxic sprays or any such.

The lost pipe turned up after the water receded almost where I had left.
--
David

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

...

that's good to hear!
around here there are ok regulations about septic systems, i don't worry about them being in the flood- waters, but the floodwaters here come across sprayed fields so that does bother me. i've blocked the most likely flow now (can't do much about wind blown gunk) and hope that will solve that problem.

:)
songbird
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