runningwaterpottery

Just another WordPress.com site

Month: May, 2012

DSC01164

DSC01164

This is a Lady Bell pepper in its cage in the big garden. If you look close at the interior you can see the drip hose, at the upper right, running across the top of a dead leaf and pointing directly at a green leaf. This is how the big drip system works, each plant gets its own tiny faucet and a house to shelter it! The system will cycle twice a day at 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. It has 3 zones with electric valves and 20 psi pressure reducers. It is equipped with 2 gallon per hour emitters running for 25 minutes per cycle. Around the outside of the cage you can see the woodchip mulch that was spread 2 years ago. It has decayed from an 8″ thick layer to about 4″, but it’s still enough to conserve the recent moisture we had even though we’ve had some heavy wind combined with 100 degree heat!

If there was only a single thing that I was allowed to recommend to do in a garden, it would be the use of mulch! It’s usually free for the price of a little sweat and it takes no special skills to use it.

Advertisements
DSC01163

DSC01163

This view of the raised bed shows the ollas, peppers in their cages and the newly sprouting pinto beans.

In the photo below, you have to look really close to see the cucumbers. They were planted about 2 1/2″ to the left of the ollas/ There is a shadow running next to the lower olla. The cucumbers are mostly in that shadow. I’m a potter…not a photographer…shows, doesn’t it!?

DSC01162

DSC01162

Here we see the progress in the new raised bed made out of the stock tank. You can see the cucumbers planted close to the left side of the ollas lids and the pinto beans closer to the edge of the tank.

DSC01161

DSC01161

I finally got a break from the wind and finished planting the peppers this morning. Including the 7 in the new raised planting bed that I made from the old stock tank, I have 161 peppers. That’ll make your back hurt! I’m thinking of finding a small stool for picking season.

I have hot Jalapenos, mild Jalapenos, Sweet Bananas, Lady Bells, Anaheims and Sandias which are supposed to be hot. These peppers will be sold at the Plainview Area Farmers Market beginning in Mid July. The market is located on the Tractor Supply parking lot off of west Highway 70 in Plainview, behing McDonalds and Sonic restaurants.

I will also have some pottery for sale! There will be some ollas, bird feeders, lemonade/ice tea sets, and some ‘pepper pots, decorated with bright glazes and 3-D, sculpted, peppers! Maybe I’ll have some collanders, utensil drainers, and canteens too. Come on out in mid July and shop the Plainview Area Farmers Market!

This space has a 3 zone drip system on it with an automated controller in the well house which is out of sight just to the right of the garden space.

Tomorrow, I’ll prepare another row of cucumbers and a few rows of okra much in the same way that you saw in the community garden posts a month ago.

DSC01160

Automated drip into an Olla

I planted 18 cucumbers yeasterday, on a fence type of trellis. The trellis is about 60 feet long and it’s in poor soil, mostly caliche. So, I put in 5 of the 1 1/2 gallon ollas on the south end of the trellis where the wind hits it and on the north end where the caliche is really bad I put in 3 of the 1 gallon ollas. Those are the last ones I had so I’ll have to make more. I’m going to have my automated drip system fill up those 8 ollas while the other cucumbers will be watered, using the same automated system, with surface application. This will be a good side by side comparison with a good control group.

Notice the small rubber hose, lower left, going into the olla and the caliche rock on top of the olla. Instead of the rock as a lid, I’ll make more lids with an appropriate sized hole for the tube. That rock is probably an average size for this garden space. It’s a rock pile…a real ankle breaker if you step on one!

The cucumbers are planted, under the mulch, on the far side of the olla where the trellis is located. I will train the vines up the trellis as they grow and that way my back won’t complain (too much) and the fruit grows straight and doesn’t have that yellow spot from ground contact!

I really can spell, too!

For the past few days, I’ve been posting without my reading glasses! Today, I have them so I went back through some postings and boy, did I find some grammar and spelling mistakes. Ooops, can’t blame that on the rain either. I’ll be better, I promise.

Now it’s back to the farm to plant 30 peppers and maybe one more row of cucumbers if I can stand the wind and heat! I put in several ollas that my automated drip irrigation system will fill up. I should have photos posted tomorrow!

This really is a pottery blog!

This is what I do at this time of year; plant a garden. As soon as I get it going, I’ll get back to the pottery. My summer class starts on Monday so I’ll have the pots going again. Some will be made at the University studio and some at the studio at the farm. If you recall the first post, I think it was, I had a photo of the place showing the buildings from a distance. This garden would be at the far left, the raised bed in the middle and the pottery studio on the far right.

I took some ollas to this garden. I’m going to fill them using a 1/4″ distribution line through a hole in the lid. I’ll have to make new lids but this way, I can combine some ancient and modern technology. We can, maybe, see a side by side comparison of several irrigation methods.

DSC01159

DSC01159

You can see the few onions that I have in the cages at right, center. I was going to plant the remainder of my pepper crop today but the wind was just too savage. I’ve laid out some drip line and prepared holes for 38 more peppers. I need another 30 or so beyond that to be finished. Tonight, I’ll sit in the back yard and make more cages out of 2″x4″ welded wire. I cut the catfood bags this morning. You get 2 wind sleeves out of one bag by tearing off the top, cutting out the bottom and then cutting it in half, horizontally.

The cucumber will go on the fence, on the left, in the lower photo and on a row of portable tomato cages made from ‘hog’ wire which is a heavy gauge wire mesh that has a 4 or 5 inch square opening. It’s an old fencing material that’s been around the place for 50 years and I’ll cut it to length and bend it into a circle and then stack one on top of another and hold them in place with rebar; instant trellis. Well, maybe not instant…

DSC01158

DSC01158

I cleaned out the weeds and planted 64 peppers yesterday. If you look close you’ll notice some hose on the ground. The black hoses is are drip irrigation lines and the green one is just a plain water hose that I used to soak the holes after I dug them for the peppers.

The peppers are in cages covered with re-purposed cat food bags held on by a length of wire. This buffers the wind on the tender plants after you transplant them. I’ll remove the bags in a few weeks and if the critters leave me alone, I’ll slip the cages off too. Last year I had to leave them on as a barrier to keep small rodents out. My little garden was an oasis of green in a sea of brown. We had a record setting drought down here in Texas. It’s nice to see green again!

DSC01156

DSC01156

This is the middle part of my main garden. Notice the cages on the right, center. Those are my onions. By this time last year I had none left. Because of the drought, critters ate them when they were about 3″ tall. This year I put screen wire around the cages and it looks like the critters left them alone.

Yesterday I used the yo-yo for two hours and got this area cleaned up. I’ll lay out the drip irrigation lines today and start digging little holes into which my peppers will be planted. It’s only supposed to be 98 degrees today; same wind though.

The main garden space measures 80’x70′.