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Temperature comparisons

 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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In this heat wave we've been having this week I thought I'd keep track of some temps and how much I need to water, so here are some notes. After today(the third day of heat), I'll add in some more temps and notes on moisture.

I'm in my second year of having the forest garden structure, so no fruit trees well established yet, but I have plenty of mid height(to 36" and later there will be pole beans to add to the height. THe mulch at this point around the garden is a good two inches of dried out grass and weed(it has lost its fresh volume--I would say I've put on about 12" of fresh stuff so far altogether)

I took these readings with a wall thermometer laid on the ground(that is all I had)--so laying it on the soil is what I mean by "surface temp"

I watered on Tuesday, on an overcast day, the high that day was 85'
Yesterday(Wednesday) the high was 95, and the low was 70. The humidity this morning was 21%, I didn't water since Tuesday morning.

Today (Thursday), the high was 95.8, and I took these temps at 5pm, the air temp was 95, the humidity was 25%. At 5pm(here) is when the ground has absorbed as much heat as it's going to get.

Surface temp on bare soil, full sun 104'

Surface temp of soil under 12" of living plants(thyme, dead nettle, strawberry), no mulch, planted under young pear tree, full sun 90'

Same place^ at 9 am this morning 72' air temp, 68' surface temp

Air temp in middle of fennel clump, full sun(6 foot tall, 4 foot dbh) 91'

Surface temp of soil under mountain bluet clump, 36" tall, 36" spread, full sun, 90'

surface temp of soil under tomato, under mulch, four tom plants 24" tall planted in 6 square feet, with iris, fennel, lamb's ear and daylilies providing shade of soil around the tom plants on east and west sides) full sun 83'

The dirt was all still damp to the touch. Like I've said I have (natively)heavy clay soil,no-till, mulched.

A 21' spread is pretty good and it would(should) be more of a spread with more deeper mulch. I know it's not hyper scientifically measured, but it's good enough for government work 

PS, I'll take some pics of the locations where I took the readings, but it takes a while, and with my schedule over the next few days it will take a little while, ha. But I do want to add in some pics.

I also have a couple places where I'm sprouting lettuce and beets, the lettuce is up and staying moist--I do water those seeded areas a bit each day(it was deeply watered before planting). I covered the seed beds with fresh cut fir boughs--this really has helped keep it moist, and it breaks up the water stream nicely when I water.

SOOOOOO--a 21' difference between bare soil and mulched "forested" soil is pretty good, and so far watering not since Tuesday(where before I would have been watering every day) is pretty significant water savings in this heat wave!

Must go pick raspberries now...
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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PS, if anybody else wants to do this that would be cool--basically just get a bare soil temp and a mulched/etc temp. I'd be interested to see what your results are.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i might pick up a soil therm and try it that way, right now i don't think i have one that checks temp, just moisture.
 
                        
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Rockies
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This one is especially interesting:

surface temp of soil under tomato, under mulch, four tom plants 24" tall planted in 6 square feet, with iris, fennel, lamb's ear and daylilies providing shade of soil around the tom plants on east and west sides) full sun 83'


Do you have plans to measure soil moisture? 

 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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