Drip Irrigation

November 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm (Vegetables)

DSC00145Drip irrigation is a must for all gardeners. I first got the idea while visiting Ardenwood Farm in Newark CA. Their entire fields are watered by drip methods w/ some sprinklers. Not only is it water efficient, but it saves tons of time. Line comes in 12″ and 6″ drip spaces. For plantings like corn or squash, I recommend twelve inch. For spinach, beats, and like plants I advise 6 inch or ‘sponge’ lines. Smaller spaced drips, 6″ or below, will water the length of your entire raised bed.

DSC00168This second planting of spinach and beats,  I got wise and skipped a step. Rather than first plant seeds in seedling containers, I broadcasted the seeds along my rows of raised earth. First, I had to replenish the soil with fertilizer from my compost bins. After mixing in fertilizer (decomposed lawn clips and bunny droppings w/ some table scraps), I then raised the earth by digging six inch deep trenches on either side. These trenches were then filled in with chip compost to provide walkways between rows. Meanwhile, I watered down turned earth until clumps broke down into finer particles. Once this was done, I ran my irrigation lines and tapped this all into the local hose. Finally, I scattered the seed along half inch or so deep cuts on either side of the hose, covered them up, and then let regular watering and sun do the rest.

DSC00144Seedlings arose within three or five days. We were blessed with some early rain in September, and this really caused my spinach, beets, and kale to grow! Nothing is better than rain! Meanwhile, I had some volunteer tomato plants sprout. Sadly, the weather is getting cold, and these volunteers will likely be for naught. Nonetheless, I transplanted them in hopes of one or two November tomatos?!?

I am catching up on this blog. Meanwhile, I hope to post a few things regarding my church on St. Francis and Hallowmas! Nice pixs coming.

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