The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

An End to Procrastination, Maybe?

 

April 10, 2019

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

Last week compared to this week. The snow is going away.

Now that most of my snow reserves are gone, I'm getting more serious about gardening and yard work. I'll admit my powers of procrastination have not lost any strength at all, and so, no seeds for gardening have yet been ordered nor have any of the multitude of downed and broken tree branches been picked up off the lawn. But hope springs in turtles. (YouTube that comedy bit. I shouldn't be the only one wasting time there. But be warned, there's language you wouldn't want youngsters to hear.)

I belong to several Facebook groups, one of which is for rural farm and ranch women. One of these sisters recently asked about my drip system. Yes, I talk about gardening there, too, and recipes, and gripes as well as pleasures. Here's what I told her:

"There are two main sections, with eight side hoses on each. The side sections have an emitter every two feet where the water drips out. The main sections hook up to the hose from the hydrant. I alternate running each main section one full day (or night once it's really hot and dry) and the other the next. I have separate soaker hoses for the strawberry, asparagus, and rhubarb/honeyberry/sand cherry/golden glow/day lily rows.

"The main two sections get rolled up and put away each winter while the soaker hoses stay in their permanent rows. (By the time winter hits they're pretty much dried out.) I've doubled the drip lines in the raspberry rows, so they get double soaking. They seem to like that.)

"It's a job setting them back up each spring, but those drip lines double as row markers. Does that make sense? I know Markle's in Glasgow sells drip systems and can help you figure out how much you need for your space.

"The two main lines help set the distance apart for my rows. The rows that will have large plants (tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli, corn) are 3-4' apart. The others are 2-3' apart.

"Not many weeds grow between the rows when we don't get rain. The water I put down goes directly to what I've planted. I know it's paid for itself over the years."

She then asked if the drip part was the small hose or the drip "tape" with pre-punched holes. My answer was, "it's a small hose (actually eight of them on each main section) with small emitters that are punched into that small hose. The other soaker hoses have small holes punched all over them where the water seeps through the entire hose. On the drip hoses the water only drips through those emitters."

The emitters can be pulled out using pliers and reamed with a narrow needle or pin when the occasional bit of sand blocks them. The pump in our well is sometimes too enthusiastic, and pulls up a bit of sand. Sometimes there will be a mineral buildup and I'll soak the emitters in vinegar before reaming them. I'll check each main section as they're being used several times each summer. I definitely do this after first setting up the system. The emitters at the ends of each line seem to plug more often. The water dripping through the emitters will spread out to cover the ground between them.

If anyone is just starting out gardening, and plans to continue raising a garden for years, I highly recommend investing in a drip system. They can also be used for flowerbeds. A short setup can be modified for container gardening, either vegetables or flowers. They're extremely handy in our windy country. You won't have water blowing all over the place and being lost to evaporation.

It's not windy this morning (Monday, April 8) so I'm heading outside to start on some of those downed tree branches as soon as I find my kneepads. That will constitute my daily exercise (one part of the WLC I'm sticking with - new habits are forming). I'll be doing that exercise over several days as my yard is too large to get it all done in one.

 

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