Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Have you been wondering where I've been?

It's spring here, and that means it's time to plant my summer veggies. This year it was a bit more labor intensive, because I decided to revamp the irrigation lines; some of them were a bit too long and the water lost pressure before it got to the plants. Now they are all short, but, of course, that means I had to put in quite a lot of them.

Our veggie bed are all raised, and are 6x16 feet. I used drip lines with pre-made 6" spaced emitters, and I ran them from a large line that went across the long way; each line is six feet long, and spaced one foot apart; there are now fifteen lines in each bed, with the first and last six inches from the end. I figured that would give me the ability to rotate crops without adding new lines in the future; the stuff that needs only a foot of space can be accommodated, and the stuff that needs more space can just skip a line or two.

I alternated fixing the irrigation with planting, and now I have all three beds done. Unfortunately, the pipe that feeds those beds seems to have a break in it, so I won't be able to use the irrigation again until that particular area dries out enough to dig for the pipe and replace it, but in a week or two that should be done. In the meantime, I have a hose and I know how to use it.

I've planted pumpkin, corn, basil and watermelon in one bed; squash, beans, peppers and cantaloupe in the next, and today, I planted tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, and another variety of squash in the third bed. All three are edged with marigolds; they are supposed to repel pests, but even if they don't, they are so cheerful that I'd plant them anyway.

The fourth bed is outside our living room window and is half flowers and half veggies. I redid the irrigation on that last summer, and planted lettuce, peas and brussels sprouts, which are still going strong. When the brussels finish, I'll start my summer lettuce rotation in their place; a row every other week should keep us in salads for the summer. That bed gets some shade in the afternoon, so it is ideal for lettuce during our hot summers.

The peas are an experiment. Our spring might not be long enough for them; I don't expect they will like our hot weather. But they will get afternoon shade, so maybe they'll survive. As I said, they're an experiment. I love fresh peas, so I hope they survive.

Big news: I have two artichokes coming already!

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