K Putnam wrote:I think this year, Year 3, would have been the year had we not had an awful drought last summer. My plants are recovering nicely, but if we had had a more normal summer, I think this would have been the year it really started to come together. This year is good, but I expect Year 4 to be the year it takes a life of its own and continues to thrive without so many inputs and corrections from it. Things are very close. I'm glad I didn't quit mid-drought in Year 2. This year has been much more rewarding.
I've found an above-ground pool with a side drain to be an amazing resource in this regard in our climate. We get 36 inches a year or better of rain [on average at least], and the summers tend to be cool enough that it evaporates slowly [even moreso if it's constructed on a north-south axis with trees overhanging on each side.] I lost about 20 inches to evaporation by the time the rain came last year without shade and without any sort of cover. If I had plants that needed irrigation for establishment [which I actually do this year, and am grateful to have the resource] I had all that water right on hand.
[Note: I don't fill this pool by hose at all. It's all rain-fed without any additional water catchment]