Saturday, May 23, 2009


That what it’s called, or at least part of the phrase used for planting: the garden is in. Well, not all of it. Just most of it.

Wednesday I laid down the soaker hoses we use for irrigation. As you can see, the rows are raised. We use manifolds to direct the water to different rows, and since in some cases more than one row may be on the same hose, I plan out what will be planted where prior to setting up the water. I'll try to use the next picture to explain more precisely how I do what I do.

All four rows to the right of the garlic are on one hose. When working with such lengths, the water pressure is somewhat diminished by the time it gets to the last row. So, one either has to find a way to maximize the water used or place plants that don't require a lot of water in these rows. I have done both. The ground cloth minimizes the evaporation in those rows, which is of primary importance for the squash and cucumbers in those rows, as they use a lot of water. The cherry tomatoes don't require a lot of water, so they are planted in the row at the far left.

When planning irrigation, one also has to take into consideration how long it will take for plants to reach maturity. For instance, I planted about six feet of lettuce at the end of the garlic because the lettuce grows quickly and will have gone to seed by the time we have to quit watering the garlic so it can dry out for harvest. Likewise, the two rows on the right are on one hose because they contain plants like beets, basil and peppers with will require the same amount of water for the entire growing season. The two rows on the left are a hodge-podge of plants like kale, mustard, broccoli and brussels sprouts. I planted these together because they are most prone to pests, and if I have to remove them, I won't have to disturb healthy plants when I till up the rows.

Speaking of pests, I noticed some of the potatoes that volunteered from last year are already inundated with flea beetles. I nailed them with an organic pesticide (Pyganic, made from chrysanthemums), yet I expect them to discover the mustards by tomorrow. If nothing else, the mustard will make for a trap crop. I planted a lot of it as it is one of my favorite greens, so we may get some of it for ourselves. We'll see.

Tomorrow I will start to prepare our other garden area, a large, open-ended hoop house for the big tomoatoes and eggplant.


Memphis MOJO said...

Excellent report and pics.

TenMile said...

Good stuff. Have you ever experienced cross polination of the gords and cukes?, that some have spoken of in mellons.

bastinptc said...

Thanks guys.

We have such a mild climate here that it is not uncommon to have our own version of hybrids come up in the spring, especially cucs, cantalopes, squash and such. Sometimes the products from the previous year's cross-pollination are interesting in shape and color, and edible. Other times they are green and bitter.

Forrest Gump said...

It does seem like a good climate for farming over there. Our aussie farmers always seem to be either in severe drought or their land is under water (its the latter right now).