"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Garden Update 2011

We have been busy in the garden here at home switching the rows around so the vegetable garden is in 7 blocks of 8 feet by 16 feet each. I want to have less bare earth this year and more plants. We have also invested in more 12 and 10 inch clay pots to use in our subsurface irrigation. I was fortunate in coming across a grocery store that was phasing out its garden section and picked up some 12 inch pots for less than a quarter of their usual price.

Here is a close up of a 12 inch clay pot buried in the ground and filled with water. The hole is plugged with plumbers putty. The lid is a cheep plastic plate which usually has a rock on top to keep it from blowing away. The pots will slowly leak moisture to the surrounding garden soil. This is a very efficient way to water the plants planted near the pots. These pots use much less water even then drip irrigation. Water only goes to the plants around the pot, not all over the garden, and as the plants dry out the soil, they pull just the moisture they need from the pots. You can see a just sprouted squash plant next to the pot.

The pots are about 3 feet apart and I plant around them in a circle.

Here is one with a circle of broccoli, Swiss chard and chives around it. These were transplants. I gave them supplemental water for a few weeks to get them started, then they only receive water from the buried pot after that. Last year I cut my water use for gardening in half by using, rain barrels in the spring, subirrigation, and grey water in the summer.

Another benefit of using the buried pots is that, without water running across the soil surface less weed seeds sprout. Using this method in conjunction with heavy mulching, I hardly ever have to pull any weeds.

In the garden right now: broccoli, swiss chard, onions, potatoes, peas, lettuce mix, garlic, beets, tomatoes, many kinds of peppers, egg plant, many kinds of squash and cucumbers.

A pretty picture to end with.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Florence! That is very nice and inspiring. I will have to make a trip up to Justin to see your garden. I will keep my eye out for cheap clay pots, there a little pricey when not on sale. Fortunately we are on a well, which still costs but not so much. Our watering runs us about $30 more in the summer.