Make the Most of the Rain Event, Plant!

| December 2, 2014 | 4 Replies

Make the most of the rain event, plant! I’d been rather ashamed that I hadn’t planted anything for a fall/winter garden. The wonderful garlic I harvested in June still sat in my kitchen, and, many packets of seeds waited, neatly filed in a box. I had made all manner of excuses, but the long and short of it is, I was a little burned out from such a major summer garden effort. But with headlines like “Sandbags Available – Prepare for the Rain” from our local Councilman and “Major Southern California Rainstorm” in the Los Angeles Times, I couldn’t miss an opportunity for new seeds and bulbs to get drenched.

I went out at 8:45AM just to check on my rain capture set-up, decided to plant some garlic bulbs and one thing led to another. I came in soaked, muddy and chilled at 12:15PM. Here’s a photo essay of the effort.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - rain barrel

1. Checked on rain barrel set-up with overflow filling a city recycle bin.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - garlic

2. I peeled 6 large bulbs, and planted the largest cloves.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - prepared soil

3. Prepared the soil to plant.

This is the same spot I grew my best garlic last winter. See how to plant garlic in “Growing Garlic in an Urban Garden,” the “Late Bloomer” episode of my first attempt. I mixed up organic plant food, biodynamic compost and earthworm castings in the round pan to supplement what was there.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - muddy gloves

4. Muddy gloves make for muddy garlic cloves.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - planting clove

5. I poked holes where all the cloves were to go. Plant two inches down.

I’m not sure what compels me to plant in the rain, but as long as the rain is gently coming down, it’s a very peaceful feeling. (And there are no planes overhead!) I first planted in the rain in my fourth episode “Rainy Day in the Garden.” Have I changed in two years? Same jacket, though! I decided to pop the cloves in without the muddy gloves.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - Kaye planting

6. That’s me, planting in the rain.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - garlic peels

7. I saved the garlic peels to spread over the bed.

Hoping to deter the towhee birds from digging in my fresh bed, I spread the garlic peels which smell like garlic!

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - bed with garlic peels

8. Garlic peelings spread over bed to deter critters.

I had about 20 cloves left, so I planted them in this bed where I had a tomato plant in the summer. California native yarrow and and native grass were getting lonely!

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - 2nd garlic bed

9. Second bed of garlic planted.

I raked dropped wisteria leaves on the back courtyard last night and distributed on the Back 40 bed, which has onions at one end. Beet seeds need to be planted here pronto! Trays capture rain.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - leaf mulch

10. Back 40 bed covered in raked leaves for mulch.

I had moved my cacti out of the rain, after killing a cactus with too much water last week. Cacti can only take so much water before they rot.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - cacti under shelter

11. Cacti moved to shelter under the roof overhang.

My cat Linden stepped out during a lull in the rain shower. Here she is pondering how she’s going to get back in the house without getting her feet wet.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - Linden

12. Linden looking for a dry path to the front door.

Once you get really wet, you think, hey, just keep going. Next I planted Swiss Chard Five Color Silverbeet Organic seed in this container which wasn’t being used.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - chard pot

13. Planted Swiss Chard seed in this container.

My garden friend, Jake, at TheOntarioGardener YouTube channel had sent me some Mizuna mustard seeds he had saved, and I planted them in this three foot container. You can purchase organic heirloom Mizuna seeds at Botanical Interests.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - Mizuna container

14. Mizuna mustard seed planted in this container.

Finally, I planted kale seed. After expounding on the benefits of kale in my “Growing Parkway Kale” episode, I had to plant kale seed in this large container. I plan to harvest this young, so I crowded the pot with more seeds than you would normally plant.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - kale container

15. Five types of kale planted in this big round container.

I came in tired and chilled, but my endorphins had kicked in and my guilt was gone! It had been way too long since I’d planted. I’d arranged to purchase a second rain barrel which came at the end of the afternoon.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! - 2nd rain barrel

16. New rain barrel to add to first.

I got it hooked up just before dark, albeit not in the most secure fashion. Since both city bins, the one 50-gallon rain barrel and several kitchen trash cans are all overflowing, I will have a lot of rainwater to use on the garden in the coming weeks.

Make the most of the rain event, plant! Do you like to garden in the rain and get dirty? Are you capturing rain? I feel for folks who are getting too much rain and are having to be evacuated and dealing with mudslides, but here I’m just so grateful for every drop. Thanks for reading! – Kaye

If you enjoyed this post, please let me know and share with a friend. Thanks for your support! ~ Kaye

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Category: Grow Veggies, Rain, Seeds

Comments (4)

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  1. Domenico says:

    Great job Kaye, I need a better setup for my rain barrels, I have 4 55gal barrels and every spring I fill one, then with a sump pump move the water to the last one and so on till all 4 are full.

  2. Anemone Dekker says:

    Hi Kate,
    I just came upon your website while looking for ‘garlic planting in the rain’ tips. I admire your garden and all the things you grow. And I enjoyed reading your website.
    It’s dated 2014 and I’m hoping that you’re still busy on your garden?
    Please let me know where I can find your more current posts.
    Thank you much,

    • Just click on the header on this website to jump to latest content. Also, PLEASE watch my show and vlog on my YouTube channel! Tons of videos since 2014. In fact, I’ve uploaded 59 videos just in 2016! Thanks so much! Hope to hear from you often! If you love the rain, you’ll enjoy my 2-part rainy excursion in Palo Alto and Stanford Farm uploaded today!

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