Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Other Rain Tote

Took us a while to figure out where we wanted to place the other 300 gallon rain tote. The back corner of the house seemed good lots of roof to fill it with rain water but not a great location to water the front garden being on the down hill side. So we decided on the workshop ( I always called it my shed until we had the house appraised). As you can see the roof is smaller on the back side, yet it was the best location and up hill of most everything in the garden.
I dug and poured 4- 12 inch x 16 inch footers the other day, this rain tote will weight 2400 pounds and we don't want it falling over. The stand was built out of cut off or left over over 4 x 4s and 2 x 8s. On the inside of the stand I doubled up the wood with recycled 2 x 6s from a tear out. Each corner of the stand has 12-14 3 inch deck screws holding it together and the legs are notched so the band boards rests on the legs.

Once the stand was built I dragged the 300 gallon tote over to the stand and somehow lifted it up and onto the stand, it is about 3 foot off the ground on the lowest side.
 You can see I also gathered up scraps and built a small bucket shelf. Tried it out by flooding the gutter with the garden hose. The shelf works great for filling buckets. The white elbows in the downspout got painted brown but the 2 elbows at the corner of the shed leak I'll have to glue them together.

I then the next day, did I mention it was 100 degrees yesterday? I picked up some extra downspout elbows(brown is no longer available) and hooked up both downspouts. Yes the one across the window looks ugly I know... Once I got the downspouts to the tote it occurred to me that leaves and stuff would be going right into the tote and the spigot is at the very bottom and it would quickly clog up and be a tub of water we could not drain. So I called the engineer(in my head) and came up with this pickle bucket (Meg Sorry). I cut out the hole in the top of the tote with a jigsaw and dropped the bucket in about half way. I then drilled hundreds of 3/8 inch holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. Then cut out two pieces of 1/4 inch hardware cloth for a screen in the bottom of the bucket. I'll likely get some 1/8 inch hardware cloth to make the screen a bit finer.
This Red-spotted Purple butterfly was great help for me today as well. It landed on the tote many times during the day as I was working. We have several of these around the yard, they like damp spots and we have been watering a good bit. Guess what it is expected to reach 100 degrees Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (yeah the tomatoes love it). Usally we get one or two 100 degree days each summer, by Sunday we will have had 6 100 degrees days already.
When I took the thermometer off the wall of the shed to install the rain tote, I found this Gray Treefrog behind it. We find these treefrogs all the time around here. Currently you can not walk around the house without seeing 5-10 baby toads. 
 Gray Hairstreak on Mountain Mint, we had three of these little butterflies yesterday in the Mountain Mint.
 A look at our tomatoes about 8 foot tall, the temporary fencing has kept out the deer. These plants are 8 foot tall and covered with green tomatoes. The cucumbers trellis is on the right.
 it pays to add lots of compost and water the garden look at these 7 foot tall tomatoes. That is a 4 foot tall Serrano pepper plant between the tomatoes.
Our first cucumbers of the season. Oops, corrected the first cucumbers from the seeds we planted, we harvested one cucumber that volunteered.
 Our first tomato this year a sandwich sized Rutgers Tomato. Not tasted it yet, guess who bought tomatoes at the farmers market yesterday.
We have lot of green tomatoes under those giant plants see.


greggo said...

I've picked 24 x 12-14oz. tomatoes so far. Jetstar which the stink bugs like for some reason and a Florida variety which I really like. Full of spider mites however, so the plants look a little tired. Yours look awesome. The rain tote project looks like fun. It has been 95 to 105 fo almost 30 days here. feels like houston weather.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Your tomatoes look great! We just now have one Stupice tomato changing color, finally. Now it's a race for the fruit to ripen, before the voles finish killing the plants :( Love the purple butterfly, we don't have anything quite that spectacular here!

Diana said...

Randy, as always the capture of the Red-spotted Purple butterfly is spectacular since we have nothing like that here, and that tree frog is delightful.

Our tomato plants are about 5 feet tall, very healthy, some with green tomatoes, some only blossoms, but with unusual July rain and temps (65-70's, 70's being few and far between), we are praying for some sunshine. Today happens to be 70 but totally cloud covered. We did however pick our first few tomatoes last week, Stupice, and more coming on.

Hope you and Meg are staying cool.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

What a great platform for the raintote. Scraps...indeed! Love the bucket shelf.
We have lots of little baby frogs or toads (?) about the size of my thumbnail. So cute.
A little gentle rain would be much appreciated!

Andrea said...

I love the rain tote and you are so clever in putting that pail with very clever holes as drain and screen. How i wish someone here can do something like that, but maybe that plastic material will not last long in our 29-37degrees Celsius. The 33-37C lasts for about 2-3 months. I am amused that even while working your camera is always ready. I envy your shots and your gallery at rlephoto, and of course the healthy vegies. I laughed also at your comment in mine that i live in the land of giants! You should have seen my post previous to that, as i live also with the dinosaurs! haha.

Karen said...

Randy, the rain tote looks great! I was showing Carl this post and he agrees, this beats my four 50-gallon rain barrels all to pieces. The strainer is a very good idea, too.

100 degrees is no fun, I'm sorry I'm such a wimp, but egads, living in a sauna is not my thing. Yes, it gets cold here, but that I can handle and snow doesn't faze me, but the heat!

Your tomatoes are huge, so they, obviously love the temps and your TLC. Looking forward to seeing more of your's the bottle wall coming? (People keep asking us how our stone house is coming, and well, right now it ain't doing anything, lol, but we WILL finish it. One of these years.)

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

Congrats on getting the tote in place! I think the pickle bucket is a clever idea. And I love baby toads! It's rare I see a toad around here (no ponds or creeks around here), but they're a regular occurrence where I'm from in Tennessee.

Casa Mariposa said...

I would love to be able to collect that much rainwater! With my five barrels I can collect 356 gallons, which helps keep my watering bill down. Thanks for the tip about the green coneflower. I'll have to check them out! :o)

Shady Gardener said...

You are amazing - and once this second barrel is filled, you can LAUGH at 100 degree weather because everything will still be green and healthy! ;-)

texwisgirl said...

Hi Randy! Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving some comments today! Really appreciate it!

Your produce looks great - and the pickle bucket sounds like a great bit of engineering! :)

Beautiful butterfly shots! Really wonderful!

Roan said...

That butterfly shot is perfection. I haven't seen a tree frog like that one. Does it change colors like a gecko? Those tomatoes are going to be delicious. Ours are just starting to turn.