Tag Archives: drip irrigation

Dry Land Farms And Gardens

Friday, April 18, 2014. Many local water district water managers announced that our local water supply lakes are at or will be at or below 25 percent capacity by the end of April without large strong storm rains falling in our lakes water shed.

dryland-farm1 The national weather service is predicting well below normal rain fall to continue into this Fall, with little hope of improving condition well into October or November.

25 percent capacity lake water levels is the magic number that triggers ‘mandatory’ stage 5 water conservation measures.

What does stage 5 water ration really mean? First for gardeners that means No outdoor water usage. No lawn or garden watering. No filling or refilling of swimming pools, kids pools, water fountains or fish ponds. No at home car washing. No Outdoor Water Usage!

First time offenders are subject to large fines. 2nd time offenders may have their water supply disconnected and additional fines.

Farmers that planted winter wheat back in September 2013 have what should be knee high wheat nearing harvest time is only 3 or 4 inches tall and quickly dieing from lack of rain fall.

dryland-farm2 Last years failed corn and maize crops are causing farmers to re-look / re-think what if anything they will plant this spring.

Stage 5 water rationing has forced me to reconsider what if anything I will plant in my tiny garden this year. I like my farming neighbors in the West and Southwest U.S. may be forced to abandon planting this years crop of cereal grain or vegetable crops.

As our dry spell continues, record numbers of feeder and market ready cows are being seen at local livestock auction barns as ranchers trying to keep only a few of their best cows and heifers to be used in rebuilding their herds when this drought comes to an end.

Beef in supermarkets is at a 27 year high averaging near $6.00 dollars a pound. The same report noted that the total cattle herd in the U.S., the largest beef producer in the world, is at a 63-year low.

It will take ranchers 3 to 5 years after this drought ends to rebuild their herds before we will see any ‘real’ drop in supermarket beef prices.

NEW For 2014 – It’s A Free Forum Service New – Seed Savers / Seed Traders Forum This will not work without your want to trade or give away seed posting or without your want to have seed posting(s).
Thanks Pobept

First Saturday in May is National Nude Gardening Day It’s good for your health and just a Fun thing to do.

Display your American Flag on May 5, 2014 National Freedom Day

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America – Great Water Wars

water war John Entsminger, senior deputy general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority said “that in 2000, Lake Mead was completely full, but the [13-year-long] drought we’ve seen in the 21st century has resulted in Lake Mead going down over 120 feet.”
Federal regulators announce the historic reduction of the amount of water released from Utah’s Lake Powell reservoir to Mead. This reduction will lower the reservoir’s (lake Mead) level another 20 feet by July 2014.

Enstminger said “the arid situation actually may not be unusual for the West. We know from the paleo-tree ring record that the 20th century was one of the wettest centuries of the last 1,200 years.”

California’s San Joaquin valley and Sacramento valley and former desert lands near Yuma Arizona, is Americas vegetable basket producing an estimated 80 percent of all vegetables consumed by Americans. The real truth is without water being diverted from mountain snow melt and water diverted from the Colorado river, these vegetable growing regions would be desert valleys with no vegetable crops being grown.

Agriculture, livestock and poultry producers, fruit and nut growers are in direct Competition with golf courses, city dwellers excessive water use and landscaping that serves no useful purpose.

Until city dwellers are forced when the tap runs dry or by food shortages at supermarkets. Water conservation will never be truly realized and conservation measures put into place in the form of water rationing.

California and Arizona is just the tip of the iceberg. Almost all of the southern 1/2 of the U.S. and all of the southwestern states have suffered from drought condition in the past 5 or more years with little chance of conditions getting wetter for a very long time if ever.

Drip Irrigation – Water Your Garden On The Cheap
Installing Drip Irrigation system(s) now is a good way to fight back the high cost of watering your Berry, Fruit, Nut trees and vegetable gardens.

1 drop at a time

drip irrigation

Drip irrigation was developed in Israel more than 35 years ago. Bringing the desert to life requires careful selection of plant varieties and conservative water usage. Using this method you can save a lot of water and money on watering your garden. Drip systems also will minimize fungus, weed and other plant disease problems.

Water is applied at the plants base root zone at a slow rate maximizing water conservation by limiting water loss in run off and evaporation. Only the root zone is watered so you can deep water and go longer before your plants need another soaking saving time and water. As an added benefit there are attachments that will allow you to deliver water based fertilizers directly to your crops root zone.

The Colorado State University Extension has a website that contains a great deal of information on drip irrigation systems CSU Drip Irrigation
University of Nebraska Drip Irrigation Fact Sheet

I AM NOT ENDORSING these companies, they are provide for your evaluation and is a good starting place to look for drip irrigation products.
I have also seen drip systems offered at places like Lowes and Home Depot.
The Drip Store
Drip Depot

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Where Has All The Rain Gone ?

1 drop at a time

drip irrigation

Many areas are under water use restrictions. Drip irrigation will help you get the most from your available water supplies with a minimum of water waste. No more watering areas that contain no vegetable , berry or fruit crops.

Drip irrigation was developed in Israel some 40 years ago. Bringing the desert to life requires careful selection of plant varieties and conservative water usage. Using this method you can save a lot on money on watering your garden. Minimize fungus and weed problems. You are delivering your available water directly to Only the plants you want watered.

Water is applied at the plants base root zone at a slow rate maximizing water conservation by limiting water loss in run off and evaporation. Only the root zone is watered so you can deep water and go longer before your plants need another soaking saving time and water. Deep Mulching between rows does double duty. The mulch helps control unwanted weeds and helps conserve soil moisture and keeps the soil temperature much lower during the hot dry days of summer. Till under your mulch in the Fall to improve your garden and orchard soil. button dripper

Commonly drippers are rated from 0.50 to 2 gallons per hour. Bigger is not always better. Applying water at 0.50 GPH allows for deeper watering in a smaller area than applying 2 GPH for the same amount of time.

The Colorado State University Extension has a website that contains a great deal of information on drip irrigation systems CSU Drip Irrigation

University of Nebraska Drip Irrigation Fact Sheet

I AM NOT ENDORSING these companies, they are provide for your evaluation and a good starting place to look for drip irrigation products.

The Drip Store
Drip Depot

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My Garden – Rookie Mistakes in Your Garden?

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be afraid very afraid

Your best friend

Even if your vegetable garden is the envy of neighbors, it’s still easy to make rookie mistakes that waste precious resources, your time, effort and growing time.

1. Unwise watering. Too much, too little, too hard, too soft they’re all watering mistakes that will wreck your garden. Before adding water, poke a finger a couple of inches into the soil. If it’s moist, save the water don’t water your plants. If it’s dry, gently at the base of plants. Better yet, wind a drip hose ($13 for 50 feet) through your garden; that way, you will deliver moisture to the roots without wasting water on leaves and to evaporation.

2. Forgetting to test. Even veteran gardeners forget to test their soil every year to make sure it has the pH and nutrients plants need. For about $10, you can send a sample to your state extension service and receive a complete analysis. Or, buy a DIY test kit at your local garden center. When you know what your soil is made of, either select plants that thrive in that type of earth, or amend soil to match your garden’s needs.

3. Planting garden divas. Of course you love summer tomatoes, but they can be tricky to grow during summers that are too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. So newbies should try growing a couple of tomato plants just for fun, then load gardens with foolproof veggies and herbs, such as beans, peppers, oregano, and parsley. If you must grow a tomato, plant cherry tomatoes that can survive anything summer can throw at them and even yield fruit into fall.

4. Planting too much. One cherry tomato plant can yield 80 fruit, and a single zucchini plant can keep your neighbors in zucchini bread through winter. So don’t plant more than you can eat, put up, or share with friends. The National Gardening Association says an edible garden of about 200 sq. ft. should keep a family of four in veggies all summer. If you do grow more than you need, can and freeze excess and donate it to a local food bank or plan a swap with fellow gardeners.

5. Growing everything from seed. Some crops, such as salad greens, radishes, carrots, peas, beans, and squash, are easy to grow from seeds that germinate in a couple of weeks. Experience will tell you that eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes are better grown from seedlings, which someone else has nurtured for months. Pick plants that are short and compact. Avoid leggy plants with blooms that are liable to die on the vine as the plant acclimates itself to your garden.

6. Assuming you know. Gardeners often read seed packages and figure they know everything about growing vegetables. Wrong! The more you know about your hardiness zone, soil, weather, insects, and vegetable varieties, the better your garden will grow. So curl up with a good gardening book, and surf the web for garden bloggers that share your passion.

7. Relying on pesticides. Don’t bring out the big guns, which can contaminate the watershed, until you’ve tried less toxic ways to get rid of garden pests. Ladybugs and praying mantis, which you can buy at garden supply stores, will eat garden intruders, such as aphids and beetles. Non toxic insecticidal soaps will take care of soft-bodied insects (don’t use if ladybugs are around).

Heirloom Tomato Salad

1lb. mixed fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2cup thinly sliced red onions
1/4cup ATHENOS Crumbled Feta Cheese with Basil & Tomato
1/4cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing
2Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

COMBINE ingredients.
Hint Use a variety of different colored and shaped tomatoes when making this seasonal salad. Just chop, quarter or halve the tomatoes depending on their size.

Salad can be made ahead of time. Prepare as directed, but do not add cheese. Refrigerate up to 8 hours. Toss with cheese just before serving.

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Pickle On A Stick – Or – Another Cucumber Trellis Idea

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pickle on a stick
It will soon be time for planting cucumbers in my Tiny Garden. Looking for ways to maximize production, conserve space and minimize weeding and watering chores I discovered two cucumber trellis ideas that I really like.

Pyramid style trellis would make a interesting addition to your garden as well as being a functionable vegetable trellis. It can be scaled to any size that fits into your garden size and can be used to trellis any vine plant such as pole beans, peas or cucumbers or as a flower tower covered with morning glory’s. vegetable trellis
I have some old salvage 2 by 6 boards that I’m going to run through the table saw ripping them down into 1 3/4 inch wide by 1 1/2 thick boards to use in constructing my pyramid. Adding a little bit of string for the vines to climb on, then planting cucumbers on the south and east sides finishing up by planting a few morning glories on the north and west sides.
10 line panel trellis
I have a salvage cattle panel that is 16 feet long by 52 inches tall. I think that if I form it into an arch 4 or maybe 5 feet wide at the base (bottom) it will be tall enough that I can walk under the arch without bumping my head and make finding and picking cucumbers a simple task.

I’m going to make this arch kind of, sort of the entry way into my tiny garden.

After much searching, I have found most of my drip irrigation parts. I will soon start laying out my rows and design new and better self watering devices to provide ample water for my vine plants and other water loving garden plants. I’m trying this year to stop or at least reduce the use of over head watering with sprinklers that tend to compact my clay based garden soil and can encourage fungus infections in the garden.

Filling a couple of porch containers today I was impressed at the quality and quantity of compost derived from a large pile of chipped trees I got for free last Fall. I’m adding a bit of semi-composted cow manure and grass hay as well. Pure wood chips make great soil amendment adding lots of organic material to your soil, but, can be low in nitrogen content. flower water can

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Shooting Fish In A Barrel – OR – DIY Harvesting Rain Water

Painter Rain Barrel

Painter Rain Barrel


Over 60 percent of the United States has suffered from drought conditions for the past 2 years. NOAA and the National Weather Service said “2013 does not look for much improvement in these dry weather events”.
Harvesting rain water very well may mean the difference in having a viable productive vegetable garden or having to abandon your garden to the drought.

Harvesting Rain Water PDF a 88 page manual published by the state of Texas on Harvesting Rain Water.
Tip:Volume of a round storage tank = 3.1415 x R² x H x 7.47 = Volume In Gallons
Where R is the tank radius in feet squared (radius X radius) and H is the tank height in feet
Volume of a round tank calculator

Collecting rain water is easy, saves you many dollars off your house hold water bill and is better for your plants than chlorinated tap water. An inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof produces about 600 gallons of runoff rain water. Food grade 50-55 gallon barrels sell from $5.00 to $10.00 larger 275-300 gallon plastic tote containers commonly sell for about $75.00.

Two or maybe three 55 gallon barrels is all most gardeners need to water a patio container garden or even 1 or 2 small raised bed vegetable plots. It is useful for your containers to be raised off the ground at least 16 inches. This allows for easy filling of your sprinkler water can, or
attachment of a garden water hose or a gravity fed drip watering system. Grin … Water will not run up hill! Your collection barrel(s) must be higher than your raised bed or patio pots to work by gravity flow from a water hose.

Water collection barrels are typically fitted with a spigot at its base to fill a watering can or attach a soaker hose (which bleeds out water all along its length, providing effortless drip irrigation), and a filter or screen at its top to prevent a buildup of leaves and other debris and to prevent insects from entering your water collection barrel(s). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a single 100 gallon rain barrel can save up to 1,300 gallons of tap water during the high demand summer months.

If your collection barrel(s) are clear allowing sun light into your barrel, I recommend painting your collection barrel(s). Algae can not grow or reproduce in total darkness, keeping your water barrels algae free. Colored plastic barrels do not need to be painted, but, a nice paint job will allow them to blend into your landscape.

DIY Installing Your Drip Irrigation System A useful how to do it crash course in installing a drip irrigation system.

Rain Water Collecting and Recycling A Town and Country Gardening, Posted on August 17, 2009.

The Drip Store Is a internet mail order store that stocks all the parts you will need to assemble your drip irrigation system. Disclaimer: This link is provided for your convenience. I have had good service and found their products to as advertised. However, before sending money to this or any other internet mail order store, Check them out Before you purchase any products from that store.

Capturing Water from your Roof for Gardening! By: Transition Town Payson, AZ

Water Ponds and Wildlife – How To Attract More Animals to Your Backyard A wordpress blog posting

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