Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Green tomatoes anyone??

It has been nothing short of a disappointing, cold, freaky summer here in Baja Wine Country. There hasn't been much to write about this year, garden wise so far. I have about 30 tomatoes going and I've had only ONE ripe tomato. I am losing a few plants to mites (ick) and plan to deal with that this week. Not a single eggplant has arrived, and none of my jalapenos are up and running yet. We need a good, solid week of heat here and it seems it's never going to actually arrive. Last summer, I'd thought I'd keep the grow boxes going, since they were such a success, but in the end, I opted for in-ground planting and soil supplementation in an effort to have a more relaxed looking space to hang out in at day's end.
I've done no major experiments. No grow boxes, no upside-down veggies, nada. It was a choice I made back in May when the garden began to take shape. I wanted less stress and more free time during the summer months. Watering for two hours a day gets old pretty fast.

HENCE, I made good on my promise of last summer. I took a wonderful class last year from Love Apple Farms in the Santa Cruz mountains about how to install a drip irrigation system. I never managed to get it into the yard last year, so had made a deal that my one big garden expense would be the irrigation. I won't say I followed Love Apple's advice to the letter, but I came pretty close. In the end, it took about four solid days of work to get all the lines cut and installed, less a few more minutes of noodling with mistakes. And I made many....
Any way one slices it; drip is the way to go. It has save COUNTLESS hours out there watering, is far more efficient money-wise, and the veggies seem to be doing really well.