Monday, April 22, 2013

Flash Garden Update!

I have been mighty busy in the garden this month.  We've had two snow showers in the last few weeks, yet everything seems to have held up alright.  It's gorgeous upper sixties weather here and honestly, I wish it would stay that way for a while.  At least for another four weeks.  It's driven by pure selfish motives.  I would like to see and enjoy these kales, broccoli and chard before it gets too hot for them!  They went in the ground a bit late and I do hope I get to have a small spring harvest to be relished on our table sometime soon.

Regardless, it is only my first spring garden so it's not all for naught!  Gardening is a learning process and I believe this just prepares me more for successful growing in the fall!

But back to spring...

Here's the layout of my square foot garden.  As mentioned in an earlier post, the Greenland Gardener is short of a few full squares.  But fret not!  Those half squares are completely usable.  I'm trying out radishes (I saw the first sprouts today!), carrots and spinach in each 1/2 a square.

I have an aversion to chicken wire fence, but hardware cloth in the dimensions I need is just too cost prohibitive.  And so I settled.  And I think they actually don't look too shabby.  I got these stakes at each corner and just wrapped the chicken wire around. I did fold about six inches outward and buried it to protect my greens from persistent jackrabbits who might dig.

And here we are, a week later, with everything in the ground.  I've put in the 1/4" spaghetti drip extensions (not my favorite part).

As you can tell, the strings I used for my square foot grids were a mess.  I realize I need to come up with a better mechanism for these grids.

I think it begs repeating how figuring out this drip irrigation business is not my favorite gardening task.  It is time consuming and a little testy trying to poke holes in these drip mains.  If you're doing these yourself, I recommend getting those hole punch tools (no idea what they're called).  It will save you some time, yes, but in my case, did not spare me the expletives.  Also, when inserting tees and drip ends, I learned that submerging the tube in scalding hot water for a few minutes will make attaching the fittings much easier.

And since I know there's quite a bit of gardeners who read these posts, I'd like to pose the irrigation question.  I need your help!  I have 0.50 gallon per hour drippers with one dripper per plant.  I water twice a day - early morning and early evening - for five minutes each time.  I live in the high desert so the air is arid.  It is still in the mid-60's-low 70's during the day and in the 40's at night.  My problem is, I come home from work and do the "finger test" and the soil is dry!  I racked up the watering time to 9 minutes now, but I'm not sure if that is too much!  I bought a bag of mulch today but I did not top the bed yet since I have delicate seedlings still sprouting.  Should I increase my watering time?  Should I abandon these spaghetti drips altogether?  Is there a better solution?

Garden Universe: HELP!  I would appreciate it if you could leave your comments and suggestions below.  Thanks!


  1. I topped the raised bed with mulch the other day and have been compulsively doing the finger test. It got in the upper 70's today and I did the test around high noon... And the soil was moist! Happy plants, happy gardener!

  2. Hi Trish! How are your plants now? It's really frustrating when things didn't go as you expected it to be. I have the same problem before with my garden when my plants started to wither. I ended up installing a sprinkler, and I must say it was a blessing! And just last month, I harvested my tomatoes and lettuces!-Juliane Knoll @

  3. Hi Juliane! My garden is doing well and has survived last week's heat wave (in the 100's here). My drip is still imperfect but it works. I had wanted to redo the drip in the garden bed and do away with spaghetti hoses all together, but I think I might have mentioned that this isn't my favorite gardening task. So I'm stalling. If you're inclined, here's a link to my updated post on my garden:

    I'm envious of your tomato harvest! I have four tomato plants and they didn't quite like the extreme heat last week. But I fed them over the weekend (worm wine) and the flowers are now finally turning into fruit! Exciting times!