This is the first year I have had irrigation. It is very small scale...in fact I can only run the water for about an hour before I have to worry about running the well dry. It certainly won't give an inch to all my plants in a day, or even a week, but it will help tide plants over in dry spells. The system we are using is "drip irrigation". This means there are lines of "tape" that hold water which is slowly emitted through holes in the tape. The benefits to this system are hardly any evaporation loss, water gets laid just where you need it and once it's set up turning it on is easy. The downsides--pipes and hoses and valves are strung all over the place which have made tractor work and hoeing much more difficult, there are miles of walking involved to lay out all the tape, there potentially will be a lot of plastic to throw away at the end of the season. Luckily Zach is way into it and he has helped set up most of the lines. And he loves putting on the headlamp to head out and turn the lines on and off at night...I am often times already asleep!
Another beni to this system is the "Dosatron". This gadget allows me to intravenously feed my plants through the drip irrigation. The liquid organic fertilizer is sucked up from the bucket through a hose and is pumped into the lines. This system is much more efficient than the backpack sprayer that I talked about a few weeks ago!
I don't have drip tape laid out in the new strawberry patch yet and it was getting very dry so I put a sprinkler on it one cloudy day. I think it benefited the strawberries, but it was really the ducks who loved it the most : )
Farm life has been positive lately. Lots of new veggies coming on and most plants are looking great. We got an unexpected half inch of soft rain Sunday afternoon that was much needed and I am thankful for. Harvesting has picked up to a daily task as the cukes, zukes and summer squash have arrived. Unfortunately the greenbeans have had a rough start this year, but I think we will have plenty, just a little later than usual. There are still raspberries to pick. They are fewer but bigger this year and as tasty as ever. Look under and between the leaves...and down low!
This Week's Harvest: lettuce, cabbage, carrots, turnips with greens, chard, beets with greens, zukes, ss, cukes...new potatoes?
Last Night's Dinner: Grilled Delmonico steak, Maine shrimp, summer squash and zucchini...yes all on that little grill pit. Zach is good to me!