This series of posts is almost a year late. Last year my sister and I decided to get serious about vegetable gardening, so we moved the few beds that were on the north side of the property into a 40′x30′ plot on the south side. We had avoided the south side before because of the wind factor. In our dry climate, the constant wind will quickly dry out the best of gardens. Our solution? Build a wind wall around the area worst hit by the southerly drafts.
Setting everything up from scratch was no small feat, which is why I didn’t have time to post as we went.
Here is a slide show of the entire setup—from a field of grass to the completed vegetable garden. I will add detailed posts for each of the stages as I can get to the computer.
It’s ironic that the year I chose to start a blog about DIY house and yard projects, I’ve had more irrigation repair issues than in any other of the eleven years we’ve lived on this property. I take it as confirmation that this site was meant to be.
One of the repairs I had to make this year was to an above-ground irrigation pipe inside the pump house. Continue reading »
Savvy Practicality challenged me to come up with a beaded metal cuff bracelet. This is my response to the challenge.
Since I’m always working on irrigation issues around here, I’ve got plenty of PVC pipe lying around. This beaded cuff bracelet is a piece of PVC upcycled with stainless steel paint to look like a metal cuff. The beads are sewn on with nylon thread. The inspiration for the quirky design is the Gustav Klimt print “The Kiss” hanging up in our living room.Continue reading »
The best kind of irrigation installation for vegetable gardens is a drip system. Drip irrigation systems save water, ensure that vegetable gardens get water where they need it—at the root of each plant instead of on their leaves, and save time spent on weeding because water delivery can be focused on a small area instead of the whole vegetable bed.
Drip irrigation installations can be as simple as snaking a water hose around the base of your vegetables and poking holes in the hose to very intricate combinations of drip hoses and end point delivery systems.
The drip irrigation system shown in this video is a middle-of-the road installation with several zones controlled by ball valves, a system of drip hoses, and a few bubble spouts for specific plants. Planning out your drip system is the hardest part of an installation. Once you figure out how your vegetable garden will most benefit from what type of water delivery, the actual installation is simple.
My Vegetable Garden Drip System Installation included:
1. PVC pipe from the pump house to the vegetable garden with a shut-off valve at the pump house.
2. Five control valves along one side of the vegetable garden with non-drip hoses leading off each valve.
3. Pre-punctured drip hoses leading off the main non-drip hoses for the more densely-planted vegetable beds (such as the asparagus bed).
4. Individual non-drip hose delivery to the base of each plant in the squash bed (ends left open).
5. Bubble spouts at the end of each hose at the base of blueberry plants.
The method of installation of drip irrigation is to use a puncture tool to punch holes in the main water delivery hose, insert a joint fitting into the punctured hole, and attach a drip hose of desired length to the other side of the fitting. Snake the drip hose through the vegetable bed and close the end with a plug or sprayer attachment. Stake everything down with tubing stakes (I discovered–because I was working on a chandelier project made of bicycle parts–that broken bicycle spokes make perfect irrigation tubing stakes).