Friday, July 19, 2013

Water timers & drip irrigation: vacay dilemma resolved!

Why didn't we ever think of this before? Maybe because we thought it would mean an expensive and elaborate irrigation system? Or that setting up the tubes would require more work than it was worth? I wish someone had planted the idea in my head much earlier, because even if we're never away during summer for more than a week at a time, we've always relied on a lawn sprinkler (set on a timer) to water the plants. This worked out fine for the yard, but with water rates going up each year, I wanted a solution where the H2O goes exactly where it's needed and not sprinkling all over the vegetable rows. Since the lay of the garden is on a slope, it made arranging the 25-meter long tube awkward, but I'm satisfied that now we're watering the vegs and not weeds along the garden paths where they flourished.

It has been 6 weeks since the last post (it just pains me that this year there is so little to report on the garden), and here are the brussel sprout plants now. It's amazing to see how much they've grown although I still need to keep them under protective cover from possible hailstorms. So far no problems with cabbage moths or slugs.

The tomato plants have thrived as well from being placed in the sunniest spot next to the house (I had to put some type of "fencing" to let the dogs know that it was off-limits). All that extra heat bouncing off the walls has done nothing but good for their growth. Other tomato plants growing in the ground are less robust compared to these.

First harvest for this year: 500 grams of gooseberries from our only plant, and a couple of zukes. The smaller one is from a zucchini bush that is bred to produce mainly flowers instead of fruit, but if female flowers are left to develop, they'll produce tiny zucchini like this one.

6 comments:

  1. I can't manage a vegetable garden without a drip system, it would be impossible to keep watered. Isn't it great once you get it installed!

    The zukes off of your flowering plant are different from the flowering zucchini I grew in years past. The plant I grew had ridged zucchini like the Romanesco that I'm growing now. It didn't produce a lot of male blossoms, but compared to the zero male blossoms on the plants I'm growing this year it was prolific. I wonder if I could find the variety that you are growing here in the states, my husband is pestering me for zucchini blossoms and I have absolutely none on my plants.

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    1. Part of my earlier reluctance to put in an irrigation is because my dad had problems with his system. But then he had very fine sand/soil in the garden, and instead of a tube system like ours, I remember him using a flat, green, narrow strip-type of hose that was perforated on the surface, and that probably got clogged up a lot when soil got into it. He's gonna be impressed when I tell him about ours!

      As for the flowering zuke plant, the seeds are from Franchi's "bizarre" golden line. Go figure. The variety is San Pasquale though.

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    1. Ha! Maddie said what about me??? Auntie Kat, I'm going to the hairdresser today!

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  3. Watering systems are a great idea and I think those little drippers are just perfect for veggies !( I really should install one myself) Hey the tomatoes look great there beside the house...... no doubt you will be enjoying them soon.

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    1. To our dismay "soon" hasn't arrived yet. I thought we'd be rolling in tomatoes by the 1st week of August, but here we are still waiting while the first of the month's thunderstorms rolls in. Apparently it doesn't matter if you've got ideal growing conditions - if tomatoes go in late, they arrive late too. We wait patiently for the first ripe Tartufo Nero or Black Krim to put into a caprese salad!

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