Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Urban Farmer

This is $50 worth of drip irrigation supplies that I bought a week ago at The Urban Farmer store. I was getting tired of moving the hose around the raised bed every 20 minutes since I have been putting it on low to water deeply. Last year I used a sprinkler but I just wasn't satisfied; everything seemed to get dry after a day which meant a lot of the water was evaporating. I went to the store originally looking for a soaker hose, but they talked me out of it. In fact it took me two trips to consult with the urban farmers there, show them my sketches, decide what I wanted, assemble the supplies, and purchase them. (That might seem a little pathetic since we're just talking about a 4'x8' raised bed. Well.) In between I had to measure and consult with my husband, who suggested that we attach the pressure regulator at the raised bed, rather than at the hose bib, so we can unscrew the hose and use it for other things and not have the plastic tubing running across our patio. Good idea. But after I bought everything, I noticed that I was stalling on actually putting it all together. Could it be that I was...lacking confidence? I had drawn some diagrams based on the urban farmers' explanation of how it was all to go together, but it was seeming like one of those tinker-toy, Lego-assembly things that I usually leave to the men of the house. That meant I had to plunge in. Today.
Ta-da! Two hours later (okay, maybe a little more than two hours), it was done. I turned it on and it works. There are five emitter lines on each half of the bed so I can move them around; right now they are a little disorganized and need to be staked down. It will take some time for me to play around with it and make sure they are getting the water where they are supposed to. We (the urban farmers and me) designed it so that I can shut off one half of the system because often I plant one side and wait a while to plant the other side. I am going to plant things differently to make the best use of my new irrigation system. I did not buy a timer; I think I can manage to turn on and turn off the hose. My red oak leaf lettuces and Lollo Rosso lettuces are doing well. There are also some beets in the shady part in the back.
I picked a half pound of sugar snap peas today. The pea plants are burdened with peas and it's a pleasure to lighten their burden. The romano starts I planted are growing in their cage.


Caroline said...

Funny, I was at that store very recently, but the supplies (hose, tape) we bought were not to water the garden but for my niece to make hula hoops! The staff are as knowledgeable about that as they are about irrigation...

Daphne said...

That's what I can do with my extra hose!