Lessons Learned From a Backyard Garden

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posted on May, 6 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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What a great thread, kudos to you, the Libra. I've been gardening for about 25 years and I absolutely love it. I did almost all of my gardening in California until we moved here to Tennessee 3 years ago. Gardening was a whole different ballgame and it took 2 summers of failed gardens but I think we've got it worked out OK, now.
Our soil is clay, many, many rocks and has literally, zero nutritional value (I tested it with those little soil test kits). Planting things in the soil we had just didn't work too well, the plants weren't very healthy even with Miracle-Gro.
So this year we put in raised beds. It really wasn't that difficult. We set up some boards, put some of our cured horse manure in it and mixed it up with potting soil. So far, the plants have grown enormously and are very healthy, also dark green like they should be. I don't have weeds and haven't had bugs yet. We made the beds about 1 foot deep. That way we didn't have to till, we don't have weeds, and we have less insects. Also, my back doesn't hurt like it used to when gardening, as I have a bad back.

Don't forget to save your seeds, even if you think you won't use all of them, you can use them for online seed trading forums. That way, you won't have to spend alot of money for seeds.
There are 2 seed companies I use because they are good companies. One is a 50 y.o. family-owned business called Nichols Gardens, they're in Oregon. They have tons of herbs, seeds, etc. The other one is a Mennonite company and their seeds are all pesticide-free and heirloom varieties. Their prices are very low and they give you a free extra packet of flowers or some such with each order. They are Heirloom Seeds and they have a good selection as well. I've used both these seed companies for years and never had any problems.
It's also important for plants to grow deep roots, so as to access the water supply better. So watering fewer but longer times is better than frequent short waterings.
I use egg crates to start the seeds. We let the horse manure sit out in the field until it's cured. Next year, with our raised beds, we'll just have to put the manure in and mix it up with a bit more potting soil, till it and we're done.
The spinach is already giving us spinach and it's delilcious. One thing, my husband put up heavy, clear plastic sheeting on our back deck, to protect the year-round plants, which it did. Now he's building a green house so we won't need the plastic any more. That way, we can grow my favorite Meyer lemons in the greenhouse in a pot so it won't freeze during the winter.




posted on May, 6 2008 @ 02:29 PM
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great advise from the libra.

I'd like to add that everybody should get some sort of microrhzia (sp) inot their soil. it really helps shield the root systems from all sorts of stress and trauma. allows the plants root systems to get more nutrients out of the soil and will keep the garden on a more even keel.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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This is a great thread. So much information and advice.

I finally got the rest of my garden in, except the tomatoes. The average last frost up here at 5,000 feet is May 15th, so I'll wait until then, to be safe. But so far, everything is doing amazingly well, considering this is my first garden in the high desert. Even the potatoes, garlic and shallots are coming up, which surprised me, because I just stuck a few garlic and shallot cloves in the dirt to see what would happen. Maybe it's the horse manure. My only problem now is I could use twice the space and I'll be lucky to have any room to walk in the garden.

It really is so much fun, and very satisfying to be able to walk outside and pick your own veggies in your own garden. Lately, I've been taking a few leaves from the spinach and butter lettuce for salads, as well as herbs.

I will definitely double the size of this garden next spring.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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P.S. - Garlic is an excellent thing to grow. It's scent keeps insects away, so you can plant it around your garden to prevent insects from intruding. It also is a miracle plant. By that I mean that garlic is an anti-fungal, anti-viral (in many ways), agent. You can put a head of garlic in olive oil, let it set for 2, 3 days, and presto, you have a topical ointment to remove Athletes Foot, vaginitis, yeast growth and any kind of fungal problem. If it is vaginitis, you can take an eyedropper and fill it with the garlic oil. Shoot it up your vagina, it will work wonders.
For Athlete's Foot, apply it topically. It works to help get rid of a cold, it strengthens your immune system, and heck, it tastes great!

If you want to attract Monarch butterflies (who's numbers are falling), plant milkweed. You can use Google to determine which species are best for your area. But plant the milkweed, it will come back year after year all by itself, and you will have tons of Monarchs.

To attract butterflies, different plants attract different butterfly species. However, some plants attract a variety of butterflies. Echinachea attracts butterflies, is drought-resistant and looks beautiful. Just plant some seeds, and they will come back year after year.

I have also found some wonderful food for plants. It's for all types of flowering plants, including veggies, roses and flowers. Feed your plants about once a week. I'm telling you it's amazing. Our peony, which had only ever had 3 blossoms per year, now has 14 buds and is thriving very well. Anyway, this stuff is called Miracle-Gro rose and flower food. It's pink.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 01:24 PM
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I heard that you can mineralize your soil by putting a tablespoon of molasses in when you water. I've been trying that and I have to say, the garden is doing better than expected.

Between our high altitude, dry air, high winds, no rain, rocky sandy soil (which we removed in a 15 x 15 area; back-breaking work) and now earthquakes as well (Reno), I'm amazed anything grows up here and I respect anything that does manage to survive. It takes a lot of hard work to set up a garden here, but, it can be done and it's well worth it. When it begins to get hot and the sunlight stronger, there will be new challenges, I know. I plan to buy one of those containers for mulching next week, so I can keep the garden soil cool and damp as long as possible.

Where my garden is now, used to be lawn, but I decided not to waste water on grass anymore, so we dug the garden and my plan is to slowly xeriscape the entire lawn area (which is big) over this summer. I may leave a couple small areas of grass, but what I don't set up for more garden area (and there will be more), will be xeriscaped. And the new garden areas will be raised beds with purchased soil and horse manure mixed in.

We hike a lot, so when we go out, we pick up a couple cool looking rocks each and bring them back home for the eventual xeriscaping, for a rock garden of sorts. You learn to appreciate various rocks up here, lol, and there are many many types of all colors, which I figure will look better than most xeriscape yards with rocks all the same color dumped in. Sometimes, there are great looking rocks near where the vehicle is parked that my bf can lift into the car. Basically, I want a variety of types, shapes, colors, textures, etc.

I figure water will become more scarce and more expensive, and what I use will be on what we eat, mostly. And fruit and vegetables will also more than likely get more expensive as well, so when I eventually sell this house, I feel a xeriscape yard with garden areas will also be good selling points, in addition to all the obvious benefits we'll enjoy before that time comes.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 03:11 PM
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Gardening in the Sierra can be a challenge . . . and like you say, a lot of work.

Xeriscaping?

I'm guessing you're adding molasses with one of those jars on the end of the hose gizmos?

If you can swing the about $200. - and probably higher now - rotary mulchers where you crank the handle to do the mixing.
I understand you give em a crank once a week or so and they make compost very quickly.
Information on these found in gardening books.

I bought one of the 4-sided somewhat pyramidal shaped black plastic ones at a yard sale, assembled and cost was $5.
Only trouble is the assembler put the bolts in finger tight so I need to tighten things up.

Started the compost pile with one bag of steer manure.
Tilled the soil underneath pretty good before I placed the composter and then the manure.
Coffee grounds, egg shells and vegetable cuttings, stalks etc. have gone in so far.
I've stirred it up several times, added a bit of water a few times and it looks like it's gonna work out ok.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by Desert Dawg
 


Xeriscaping-- landscaping with native plants and others that require little water, also using rocks, etc., instead of having a lawn to water. I plan to use a few native plants that bloom-- I need color, and keep a couple patches of lawn, where it does well-- just little 5' by 8' areas here and there for the "green" and for the dogs to lay on, but I want to use shrubs and trees that will produce edible things as well. Like the Siberian pea shrub, which is doing very well, blooming right now. I also have currants and gooseberries-- great for jam and canning, and you can just take a cutting from the bush and stick it in moist (not wet) ground and they'll grow easily. I put in three more grape varieties, blueberries and blackberries. I've been doing a lot of research on what can grow up here that is edible to use when I re-landscape the back yard.

So you're recommending the crank type mulch bin? Actually, now that you mention it, I could use recommendations on what to buy. $200 is up there, but then again, I do all this stuff myself now that my boyfriend is working out of state, so it might be worth the expense.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 03:52 PM
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A few pics of where I'm at now.

Garden was planted around the middle of April and we had one night of 32* F a few weeks later and that was it.
Had a lot of wind lately and that dries the soil out pretty quickly.


On the left, corn, zuchinni, bell peppers from seedlings started indoors around March 1st.
The biggest plant is a nursery started tomatillo and the other larger plants are also from the nursery.



The other side, pole beans far right, a couple of plantings a few weeks apart.
They're getting off to a slow start, but aren't doing too bad.
Other plants in this row are several hot peppers and the big leaves are radish.
One grape tomato about 6' or so away from a bell pepper thats close to the hot peppers.
The freshly turned row was done today and will have some corn planted next week.
Just inside that to the right is the 3rd corn planting so if things work out, we'll have a steady supply of corn.
Once this last row is planted I’ll string out the black soaker hoses Sweetie bought me a while back.
I realize the sprinkler is an inefficient way to water, but laying out the soaker hoses too soon makes changes and additions in the garden a little more difficult.


Shown here are my container veggies.
Doesn’t hold a candle to WorldWatchers beautiful container garden, but it’s a handy way to run some experiments
Far left, a Yellow Boy tomato from the nursery.
Next to it in the same size container is a Red Hot Cherry Pepper surrounded by radishes.
The experiment here is to see if the Lemon Boy tomato gains heat from the nearby hot pepper.
The radishes are in the same pot with the pepper to see if they get hot.
I’m thinking now that the radishes were planted too early and I should have waited until there were peppers well started on the vine.

The small and medium plants are basil (from seedlings) on the left and oregano on the right (from the nursery).
Not seen is the small pot with parsley from seedlings.
Big pot on the right has quite a few well started (from seeds directly into the pot) Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes.
When those get a little bigger I plan to make a few hanging plant setups to pass on to friends.


This shows a few leafs from the radishes which I’ll start picking this afternoon so we can have a salad with our crockpot pulled pork sandwiches.
I was going to smoke the pork shoulder, but it’s so windy outside I’m not lighting anything off.
The main thing is, the grape tomato has some little bitty green tomatoes and a few blossoms on it.

It may have to do with the cooler weather we’ve had so far, but the plants are starting out slow.

I realize too that the soil is quite rocky and darned near impossible to rake em all out so I did what I could and decided to live with it.
We tried to get a load of topsoil in to start with, but none was available at the time so we did the soil amendment bit.
Next year perhaps.


Last, but not least, a pic of my Guard Scorpion.


Partially shown is the Burpee zuke I mentioned in a post above.



Preparation is the hardest part in the garden biz.
Once that’s squared away, perhaps 15 minutes every 2-3 days along with watering does the trick.

So far, desert gardening has been quite the learning experience for Sweetie and I.
She’s good with flowers and succulents and I’ve always done the veggie garden bit.
As well as ask her for advice from time to time, but sometimes I like to strike off on my own in the garden.

Some bright ideas make it and some don’t.
Sorta like life....



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by Desert Dawg
 


Great pics-- using those concrete blocks around the edge was a good idea. Love the guard scorpion too. You mentioned basil-- I killed the one I had. Overwatered it, I think. Do you find they don't like a lot of water? What kind of soil is it in?

With those concrete blocks around your garden, next year when you buy soil, you can just dump it in, maybe with some horse manure as well.



[edit on 5/7/08 by kattraxx]



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by kattraxx
reply to post by Desert Dawg
 


Xeriscaping-- landscaping with native plants and others that require little water, also using rocks, etc., instead of having a lawn to water. I plan to use a few native plants that bloom-- I need color, and keep a couple patches of lawn, where it does well-- just little 5' by 8' areas here and there for the "green" and for the dogs to lay on, but I want to use shrubs and trees that will produce edible things as well. Like the Siberian pea shrub, which is doing very well, blooming right now. I also have currants and gooseberries-- great for jam and canning, and you can just take a cutting from the bush and stick it in moist (not wet) ground and they'll grow easily. I put in three more grape varieties, blueberries and blackberries. I've been doing a lot of research on what can grow up here that is edible to use when I re-landscape the back yard.

So you're recommending the crank type mulch bin? Actually, now that you mention it, I could use recommendations on what to buy. $200 is up there, but then again, I do all this stuff myself now that my boyfriend is working out of state, so it might be worth the expense.



Gotcha on the Xeriscaping.
What we have out front along with a couple of Mulberry trees that are doing well.

We have a couple of rock/cactus gardens the former owner put in, but I've been pulling the Cholla and tossing them.
There are three Doxies and one wannabee Chihuahua and two of the Doxies have had a couple of painful episodes with the needles of the Cholla.

I should have said Garden Magazines for information about the rotary composter.
You can also find them on the Internet.

I haven't had one yet, but I'd like to.
From what I've read in magazines and thinking about it, they sure look like a good way to go.

WorldWatchers Lime tree is something that tempts me.
If I could keep it scaled down in size it should make it through the cold winters here.

Sweetie thinks one of the geared toward the Arizona Desert Apricot trees would be better.
She's probably right, we could use some more shade and the one we had in Central California grew fast and was putting out a lot of fruit when it was 2-3 years old.
So much in fact that we filled the garden cart twice with our half.

The birds get the other half, but you have to watch it.
One year I was late in picking them and in a couple of days the birds had cleaned the tree of fruit.
Shoulda covered it up with a net, but failed to do so....



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by kattraxx
reply to post by Desert Dawg
 


Great pics-- using those concrete blocks around the edge was a good idea. Love the guard scorpion too. You mentioned basil-- I killed the one I had. Overwatered it, I think. Do you find they don't like a lot of water? What kind of soil is it in?

With those concrete blocks around your garden, next year when you buy soil, you can just dump it in, maybe with some horse manure as well.

[edit on 5/7/08 by kattraxx]


I was lucky and had the blocks on hand.
I'm building one of the sheet metal roofed sort of looks like a Quonset hut carports for My Ranger and Daughters Ranger as well as a shady place to wash the trucks.
I was going to raise the foundation of the carport up two blocks high, but one block will be enough.

The blocks made a good no-dig-em blockade for the fence base.
The pups like to dig and they especially like to dig in soft soil.

Next plan is to build an archway about 8' tall for the garden entrance gate.
Not so much for the art-deco bit, but something to let the grape and cherry tomatoes climb on.
They're planted right next to where the vertical of the arch goes in.

All the containers are filled with Miracle Gro potting soil.
Sweetie likes it for her stuff and it's working well for veggies.

When I started the Basil in the little peat pots it did great and the Parsley didn't do as well.
I re-potted them into small plastic pots and that was where the Parsley started slowing down.
I may have slipped up there because I moved the pots out to the breezeway and the weather was still cool, but above freezing.
They got shaded early in the afternoon as well so that probably made a difference.

I watered the heck out of them after they went into the larger containers and pots since the containers seem to dry out rather quickly.
Used a big watering can with sprinkler head and watered every other day.

Stick a trowel into a non-planted area and see how moist your container soil is.

Watering more than seemed reasonable seems to be the way to go here.
Couple years back we tried some tomatoes in big containers and only got a few small ones from a couple of plants.
I think the watering was underdone in that case.
This was one time Sweetie was wrong.
She thought I was overwatering the Central California garden and she was right there, but here in the dez, a whole other deal.

Nuff for now, gotta get back to getting the fuel system back in tune on the little black car in the photo.

Pic taken just out of Oatman, Arizona during last weekends Route 66 Fun Run.
The burros are a tourist attaction in an old gold mining community up in the hills between Oatman and Laughlin, Nevada.

Note the vertical stripe near the front legs.
One of our group tells me that the stripe indicates lineage back to the herd of donkeys/burros that Mary rode on her way to Bethlehem.





[edit on 7-5-2008 by Desert Dawg]



posted on May, 9 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by Desert Dawg
 


I bought another basil plant yesterday and put it in a big clay pot in Miracle Grow vegetable soil-- so I can bring it in when the weather gets cold again in fall. All it says on the little tag is "likes hot weather". This time, I won't water it as much. My parsley is doing well, gets watered twice a week, also gets some shade during the day. I love dill on salads so I started some from seeds and so far so good. The rosemary, cilantro and fennel are growing like weeds.

True about tomatoes in pots-- most of the time they just don't seem to thrive, even in a huge pot. I read if your tomatoes split, it means too much sun. I had that problem last year.

I also put in my tomatoes as temps at night have consistently been in the mid to high 40's and I can always cover them if I have to do so, but I'm hoping I won't. Also put in a Japanese cucumber and cantaloupe. I sure wish I had twice the space now. We did fence the garden too, because we have two big dogs, and I'm getting another Siberian in June, when he's old enough to come home, which means I'm going to have to build something to put all my potted flowers and vegs on the patio up before he arrives. Since I'm not a builder, I'm thinking shelves on the fence.

So many potatoes came up, I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe pull some out because they're pretty concentrated space-wise and offer them to my neighbor who also put in a garden. I've never grown them before and really didn't expect them to come up. I might try the old tire thing. I have two and I suppose I could transplant a few potato plants into the center area of the tires. DesertDawg, are you growing potatoes?



posted on May, 10 2008 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by kattraxx
reply to post by Desert Dawg
 


I bought another basil plant yesterday and put it in a big clay pot in Miracle Grow vegetable soil-- so I can bring it in when the weather gets cold again in fall. All it says on the little tag is "likes hot weather". This time, I won't water it as much. My parsley is doing well, gets watered twice a week, also gets some shade during the day. I love dill on salads so I started some from seeds and so far so good. The rosemary, cilantro and fennel are growing like weeds.

True about tomatoes in pots-- most of the time they just don't seem to thrive, even in a huge pot. I read if your tomatoes split, it means too much sun. I had that problem last year.

I also put in my tomatoes as temps at night have consistently been in the mid to high 40's and I can always cover them if I have to do so, but I'm hoping I won't. Also put in a Japanese cucumber and cantaloupe. I sure wish I had twice the space now. We did fence the garden too, because we have two big dogs, and I'm getting another Siberian in June, when he's old enough to come home, which means I'm going to have to build something to put all my potted flowers and vegs on the patio up before he arrives. Since I'm not a builder, I'm thinking shelves on the fence.

So many potatoes came up, I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe pull some out because they're pretty concentrated space-wise and offer them to my neighbor who also put in a garden. I've never grown them before and really didn't expect them to come up. I might try the old tire thing. I have two and I suppose I could transplant a few potato plants into the center area of the tires. DesertDawg, are you growing potatoes?



Yeah, you gotta watch the pups.
Mine will dig in the big containers so I extended the fence out with an extra loop of fencing material - which is doubling as the gate right now.

Not growing potatoes this year.
Been thinking about giving it a shot in September when it's supposed to cool down late in the month, but we still touch on 100 degrees F.
Got a couple of big ol light truck tires that I may try potatoes in.

Snow and the really cold temps don't start here until December and January and February are the months with a chance for snow.
Usually just a couple of inches and it melts away by late afternoon.
We're at 3300' altitude and it only snows 1-3 times per winter.

Dill is one spice I forgot to plant.
Nice part is when we moved I was going to leave all Sweeties containers and pots behind.
When we made the last trip out they fit in the bed of the pickup and I have to admit she was right about them being useful.
A medium sized one should work about right for Dill.

I did have a harvest of sorts.
Picked about a fourth of the radishes and made a huge salad yesterday.
Today, cook up some chicken and have a chicken salad for dinner.

I try hard to get the tiny radish seeds spread out along the line, but I always seem to get a bunch of them together.
I should thin them and they'd do better.
Probably should have planted them in containers, but the nice part about having them in the garden is you get something coming up green in a short while.

Getting back to potatoes, how big an area did you plant?
I've been thinking of planting about a 5' x 10' area just outside the fence.
That area has been amended as noted and is just sitting.
I'm pretty sure I have enough bricks, T-posts and fencing to add on.

Never had much success with cucumber, but am trying it around the corn stalks utilizing the Three Sisters method noted in a couple of the above posts.

Kinda weird, the cooking beans I mentioned that I planted are buoyant enough to have floated up and out of the ground.
Tomorrow they get re-buried a little deeper.
I'm beginning to think that recommended planting depths noted on the seed packets aren't really deep enough.
Probably ought to double most of them.
Doesn't seem to hold anything back when I've planted stuff deeper than recommended.

I had some tomatoes split every summer in the Central California garden, but I always plant more tomatoes than I should and we have plenty for us, neighors and co-workers.
Shade is the answer here and I have a couple of square tubing steel poles tat I need to weld some brackets on for the wood horizontal pieces and get some of the nursery shade material that lets light in, but holds back the wicked hot summer sun we get here.

I need some more projects . . . in the middle of building a carport, getting some cyclone (chain link) fencing up to restrict the pups to about 75% of the yard so we can drive in and out without having to get them all in the house.
Laid out the lines for that yesterday and plan to dig one post hole per day until done - seven required.

I never did like growing tomatoes in wire cages.
If you have a fairly mature plant and look at a branch/stem that is lying on the wire you'll find that it is burned by the hot wire.
I figure if you can't handle the wire in the sunshine with bare hands the tomatoes won't like it either

To that end I make trellises or cages out of wood.
A simple design that's quick easy to do.
I'll post some pics of that when I do.
Nice part is, they cover 6' - 8' of the row and 2-3-4 maybe 5 plants can be supported.
At the end of season they fold up and store away.

Once the garden settles in a bit I may move the containerized tomato plants into the soil and grow some other smaller stuff in the containers.

Nuff for now, gotta go water....



posted on May, 10 2008 @ 07:43 PM
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Thought I would pass this link to anyone interested in keeping it natural.

www.stephentvedten.com...



posted on May, 10 2008 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by thelibra
 

Haven't read the whole thread but my Dad did raised organic beds and used these water tube tomato cage things up here in South East Michigan. The Raised be made for warmer soil and the Water Tube tomato cage thing was like a mini greenhouse. The much warmer temps helpt the plants grow much faster. He also did drip irrigation which lowered the amount of water needed.

All of that seemed to work rather well.

Also this is a Gardener on TV in Michigan who had a ton of great easy, cost effective ideas. Jerry Baker Master Gardener. His recipe for greening up your lawn works! Imagine just using common household ingredients rather than expensive fertilizers! They really do work, try them.



www.jerrybaker.com...




[edit on 10-5-2008 by pavil]



posted on May, 12 2008 @ 07:16 AM
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I try hard to get the tiny radish seeds spread out along the line, but I always seem to get a bunch of them together.


I've noticed you can buy radish seeds in Australia that are glued onto paper tape - so you buy these rolls of tape and they have the seeds spaced out nicely. Ditto for other tiny seeds like carrots. I'm sure you'd get something similar in the US and it would ensure even planting.



posted on May, 12 2008 @ 02:48 PM
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Watering Containers with a drip irrigation system????

I'll be away for vacation during the summer and decided to set a drip irrigation system on a timer, but I'm confused and unsure as to how long to set the timer to have the system run?

I usually water in the morning with a watering can, about 5-6 gallons for all the plants and then in the evening about 4 gallons for the more "thirsty" plants. How do I convert that into a drip system? how many hours should it run for?

any ideas and tips from those with experience or good with math
would help...thanks

[edit on 5-12-2008 by worldwatcher]



posted on May, 12 2008 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by worldwatcher
 


Can't help you with the drip system other than to say we had one that son-in-law set up for the multi-container flowers etc. on the big front porch of the Central California house.

It worked well.

If you're not leaving for a while, do some research both on the net and at a nursery on what you need vis a vis timing etc. on the drip system.

Another excellent source of gardening information is your local Farmers Market.

Along with just spotting a successful garden and stopping to talk to the owner.

If you have someone who could stop by and water on your schedule that's another option.
Many friends and relatives would be glad to help out and you're setting up a nice network where you can do the same for them.

Probably stuff you've thought about, but if not, there ya go....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just hearing on the news, 80 days since measurable rain in Phoenix.
We've had some, but it's still pretty dry here.



posted on May, 15 2008 @ 10:50 PM
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Desert Dawg, your garden is amazing, especially with the dry conditions, it is quite an interesting challenge, a real pleasure for us gardeners to work out. I noticed the fencing and the bit of trellising, have you considered extending the vertical gardening further along that side?

Also, I found a real gem of a lettuce for hot weather. It is called "Jericho" lettuce. I ordered it from seedsofchange.com. It was developed by the Israelis to grow in the Negev? desert. I have a whole row of it, it looks sort've similar to romaine and I noticed it loses it's color and wilts when it rains and then turns a deeper green when it is dry and hot outside, but when it's in the 90s it wanted a bit of water in the morning, but not much, it really is tough.

Also, for anyone out there dealing with cutworms here's a tip: put a couple of toothpicks next to the main stem of your seedlings. It won't be able to wrap itself around the stem to cut it.

Note to Antar: incredible garden for all the right reasons, go for it.

Ditto Libra & 12m8keall2c, awesome gardens.

World Watcher, container gardening is a real art, (as you clearly know). I gardened with containers for many years, (this is my first big garden) and it was tricky in the full heat of summer, one odd tip that you may like: The best container that I found for growing exceptional everything was an extra recycling bin from the city. I 3/4 filled it with yard dirt and some compost and threw bits of ginger, a sprig of spearmint, an old potato or two, an old onion, a couple of cucumber seeds, a canteloupe seed etc every year. In other words, recycled bits. It held the moisture in full heat and the vines growing out of it produced lots, and at the end of the season we dug up some potatoes. This container broke all the rules for containers, no drainage holes, dark plastic, etc, but it worked.

kattraxx, wow, I'm watching how it goes with your project closely, next year I would like to switch out our front lawn also.

This thread is wonderful, y'all. I really hope we get a gardening forum, or a living green forum, all of your posts have been very helpful (can't list them all there's so many) and it would be great to have a dedicated area for them.

Here's some photos of my new garden from a few weeks ago, everything is much larger now but I haven't gotten my latest film developed yet. You name it, it's growing in this organic garden. I felt driven to get it in this year, lots of odd dreams with me being lectured to hurry, there's not much time left, so we all (my family and friends) went for it. Also, lots of interesting coincidences happened with this garden.

Links to follow, I just couldn’t choose a couple, sorry.

STM

Edit to add: The captions I put on some of these photos on photobucket didn't travel with the photos. My son and daughter in law and grandson are shown in the photos as well as my good buddy who rides by every day on his bike to check on the garden and to see if he can raid it, it's an ongoing joke, he can really have all he wants.

i197.photobucket.com...

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[edit on 5/16/2008 by seentoomuch]



posted on May, 16 2008 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by seentoomuch
 


Great Looking family and a great looking garden set up too


thanks for tip about the "Jericho" lettuce. My lettuce plants started to bolt around the last week of April and this weekend I'm just going to pull them up and plant something else. I was thinking that I would have to reserve lettuce to being a winter crop here.

interesting container idea too, my problem now with the summer heat is figuring out exactly how much is enough. I don't want to overwater and certainly don't want to underwater in this heat. Right now I have the drip system going for an hour in the am and 30 minutes in the evening.. it seems to be working well, none of my plants have acted up yet






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