Thursday, August 30, 2012

    Since we put the fall garden in we have been experimenting with different dripper heads for the drip system we installed. We have finally found one that we like, it is the Jet sprayer. It puts out between 7-10 gallons per hour and pretty much covers a whole mineral tub for watering. The small drip head that puts out 1 gallon per hour just wasn't putting out the coverage needed. Now our only problem is that 1/4 inch line that we have it set on. Our set up is 20 mineral tubs set up under 20+ feet of cattle panel that is acting like a trellis. We have it set up in 2 separate sections, each section watering 10 tubs at a time. Since installing the new watering heads the 1/4 inch line is just not large enough to allow enough water flow to run 10 of the jet sprayer head. So we have decided to experiment with some low pressure PVC pipe, since there wont be constant pressure on it like a water line we can get away using this and by the way this is cheaper!

  We found that you can drill a small hole into the PVC pipe and put the jet sprayer head directly into the hole. Instead of attaching this to the bottom of the trellis like we did the plastic drip tubing we will just set this right across the top of the tubs for great coverage. This will be a nice set up as when the fall garden is over we can put the drip system away out of the sun to make it last longer. We also want to do a set up for the strawberry raised beds, while perusing the sprinkler isle we found some pop up sprinklers that do rectangle patterns, they are a few dollars each and we would only need 4 but this would make watering so more efficient over hand watering or sprinklers that put water everywhere except where you want it!. With the water rate that the jet sprayers put on watering of 3 gallons per tub we would only have to water for approx 15 minutes! It takes me longer than that to hand water. I will post more on this when we get it up and going to let you know how well it works!

   For everyone that doesn't know what a mineral tub is here is a few pictures of my mineral tub garden!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Since the weekend weather was so nice we decided that we should take advantage of it and get the fall garden in the ground! We planted:
Leaf lettuce
Rocket salad

We then installed a drip system on it to help with the watering and to tell you the truth i don't know why we didn't do it earlier!! Now we are going to get a system to put on the raised beds to make for easier and more efficient watering!

I also found a few recipes for some household cleaners that will make your home smell great!

Grapefruit abrasive cleaner:

This will clean your sink right up! avoid using on fiberglass fixtures.

1 cup fine grade pumice
1/2 cup clay powder
2 tablespoons grapefruit essential oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water( or enough to make a paste)

1. Mix all ingredients together and stir. Store in a labeled airtight container
2. To use: Apply gently with a damp cloth or sponge and scrub

Creamy nonabrasive cleaner

Perfect for acrylic and fiberglass surfaces

1/4 cup washing soda
Vegetable oil based liquid soap
1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil

1. in a bowl, combine washing soda with just enough liquid soap to create a thick paste. add essential oil and mix well.
2.To use: scoop a small amount of cleaner onto a sponge. scrub surface and rinse.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Since we are still in gardening season i thought i would post some helpful tips for, around or in the garden.

Get an earlier tomato harvest and a bigger one, too! Just stretch aluminum foil on the ground between your plants and anchor it along the edges with stones or bricks. The reflected light can increase your yield, especially in cloudy weather, and speed up the ripening of your fruit by a full two weeks!

Grow stronger seedlings. Young vegetables that don't get enough light when you are starting them indoors tend to grow week, leggy, and spindly. To prevent that problem, just spread a long strip of aluminum foil on the shelf or table under your grow lights, and set your seed flats on the top of it. Then lift each end of the foil and tape it to the outside shade of the light fixture, using some tape. The foil walls will focus light on your baby plants and help retain heat, forcing them to grow bigger, stronger, and faster!

Make a hanging garden. Are you a little short on garden space??Here is how to gain more ground. Poke a few small drainage holes in the bottom of heavy duty plastic bags, then take them to a board. Fill each bag with soil, add a few seeds and water well. Before long you will have a lovely vertical garden.

Make compost. Brown paper bags are a first class source of carbon. To tap into their riches, just tear up the bags, or run them thru a shredder, and toss the pieces into your compost bin. If you don't have a compost bin, just bury the scraps in the ground. They will break down in no time, improving your soil in the process.

Make plant labels. Just cover empty seed packets with plastic wrap, and tape or tack them to whatever upright supports you can come by easily like chopsticks skewers, Popsicle sticks or paint stir sticks. Then put them in the ground at the appropriate spot in your garden.

Turn a lamp shade into a planter. Just turn the shade upside down and line it with a heavy duty trash back, Trim away any excess plastic, and staple the liner in place along the sides. Cut a few slits in the bottom for drainage, add soil and plant away.This also works with wicker baskets, wooden boxes or any container that is not waterproof.