Every yard and garden should have a rain gauge. Whether it’s large or small, decorative or simply functional, it’s important to know how much water Mother Nature has delivered. For most established plants, an inch of rain every seven days is the ideal. When a Northeast garden gets that amount of rain you don’t need to water unless the plants are newly germinated or planted.
A rain gauge gives us valuable information because if recent rainfall has been an inch or more you can leave your irrigation off and the sprinklers in the shed for the next ten days in cool weather, and five to seven days in very hot weather. Be in the know, and gauge your rain!
You might wonder why some rain gauges show marks for an inch of rain that are well over an inch tall. Those gauges have larger openings on top, so the marks on the holder are larger too. This is because rain gauges measure cubic inches of rain falling on a square inch of soil. So if the top of the gauge is equivalent to a square inch, the marking on the tube will be one inch high. But a measuring device with a larger opening needs to be calibrated so that it’s showing that accurate cubic inch of rainfall. This is why using a tuna can, bucket or wheelbarrow isn’t an accurate way to measure rainfall. You need a rain gauge to know just how many inches of rainfall we truly recieved.
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