Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees!  

 

Welcome  backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, beekeepers & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 165
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, plant & prune, grow food & flowers, or sit and watch as someone else does your landscaping, you'll find something here to discuss!

Selected topics, in no particular order:
Moon Phase Widget here. Moon phase topic here.
What's your gardening style?
Frugal gardening.
Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.
Growing Fruits
Wild Parsnip - It can burn skin.
Why buy locally-grown plants?
Squirrels.
bees.
Cheap gardening.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on June 23, 2013 at 3:15pm

Your plan sounds like a good one, Spud. yes, I make most of the holes that I repair. Occasionally I put too much water pressure and have a blow out. Do you use timers with your soakers? 

My procedure is to spread the hoses where I want them, bury them, set the flow so it seems to be enough, but not so strong as it blows out the hose, and set the timer for increments of 5 minutes, then use my moisture meter to determine when there is the correct amount of water at each session. When that is all set, I just monitor the moisture occasionally and if I see some plants withering, I put more time for water. This task is nice to do in the morning because I like to do all my watering in the morning, before noon. That way the leaves that get wet have a chance to dry off. Having hoses buried helps prevent sun rot. When a leak occurs, it becomes obvious very fast, with large areas of wet soil. 

I keep a repair box with all the tools and supplies together so I just have to pick up the box and travel. I also use red flags on long heavy wires to mark places that need attention. Maybe once a week I check all the soil moisture around my patch. My soakers have been in the ground since 1996 and I have replaced them perhaps twice, but I do have to replace the parts that get too many repairs close together. 

One year I forgot to disconnect the soakers when we blew out for the winter, and blew out all the houses on that line. I have nine stations on an automatic timer. 

Comment by Angela on June 23, 2013 at 3:07pm
I planted banana trees. First for me. Doing everything the nursery said, but I have noticed several leaves have a lacy eaten pattern on them. Contacted the nursery and he recommended Sevin dust. I am not too keen on using pesticides on them as they are close to the pool and in my pets area. Does anyone have a good recipe for homemade non-toxic (to us or pets) pesticide? Thanks in advance.
Comment by Idaho Spud on June 23, 2013 at 2:43pm

I've had good results with soaker hoses in the past, but last year I watered everything overhead and had good results.  However, this year I'm going back to soaker hoses.

The main reason is everyone says don't water watermelon overhead, as they are more susceptible to disease than other crops when wet.  My other crops will probably do better without overhead watering as well.

I've not had problems with soaker hoses leaking unless I stab them with a shovel or a wire used to hold them in place.  However, I'm going to be more careful and shouldn't have any problem with leakage.

My main concern with soaker hoses is that I don't know whether I'm over or under watering.  To remedy that concern, I'm going to put one in a large trash container and measure the amount of water they produce at a set time at the pressure I plan on using.

I plan on repeating that procedure with one that's been in service for a year or two to see how much the hard water deposits have reduced the flow. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 23, 2013 at 2:04pm

Ruth, I am sorry to learn that. It makes gardening so much easier. How do you manage watering now? 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 23, 2013 at 1:39pm

I tried soaker hoses in my raised beds. After a couple of years they leaked so badly I had to remove them. It was a huge waste of money and effort.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 23, 2013 at 1:34pm

Spud, maybe you and I should move to the Portland/Vancouver area and get in on those early harvests. On the other hand, I have put all this work in to create this place, so I am content, just rocking and sipping, and plucking snacks out of the garden. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 23, 2013 at 1:30pm

My friends who are organic gardeners and sell produce at the farmers' market, are retired highschool math teachers; about 20 years ago, they built high fences surrounding their cash crops, and built frames to hold "pig" wire around their fruit trees and grapes. Now they are both getting older, not able to work hard, and they are doing the same thing you and I are doing, Sentient. Everything is already built, the watering system is soaker hoses on timers which they plumbed in years ago.

We just have to spend those "productive" years doing the hard work so we can be less physically active in our "golden" years. I must say, I am enjoying these years more, in some ways, than those perspiring, aching muscle years. It was interesting to design and create, but I really do enjoy just sitting and watch it all happen. 

We used to have a "Harvest Feast" with our monthly cooking group at their place; they had it set up like a farm harvest with picnic tables and benches. For appetizers, we wandered through the garden, picking and eating as we strolled. Then we created a huge meal of cooked veggies and fresh fruits with home-made breads. Oh, those were the years. 

Being math teachers, we had wonderful times with fractals when we were not feasting. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 23, 2013 at 12:38pm

Sentient, I'm jealous of your harvest again.  I've been getting strawberries for the last few days, but I pick them 2 or 3 days before they're fully ripe because if I don't the squirrels, birds, and ants get them.  I've been too busy preparing watermelon soil to do anything about the strawberries.

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 23, 2013 at 12:33pm

The noisy can deer deterrent does look like a good idea.  It may be a deterrent for other skittish animals as well.  I'll try to remember it if I move to a place with deer. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on June 23, 2013 at 10:42am

Joan, thank you for the research!  The cat food can idea looks very promising.  Much easier than fencing.  The concrete reinforcement wire also looks easier than what I've been doing. 

I use 4 fence posts, 7 feet tall, place them in a square around the tree, and use 5 foot tall wire fencing to make a cage around the tree.  One side is held shut with clothespins, so I can get into it.  Once constructed, it is reasonably easy for me to get into, and not much maintenance.  Weeding is  bit of a hassle but not bad.  This would not work for the garden beds - too big.  The cat food an idea is more workable.  Plus, my cat will have more purpose in life, by providing the cans.

 

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