Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vegetable Gardening Tips

Well, I don’t want to be the one to say this, but does it feel like fall to you? I didn’t mind the mild summer, in fact, I rather enjoyed it, even if my tomatoes (that do so much better with warm nights) are now just ripening. I just hope we don’t pay for it this winter. I have a very long driveway and no kids to shovel. But I digress...

Last week on my jaunts through town on the old bike, I ran across this garden. Actually, Neil lives down the block from me and I’ve seen his garden many times with these odd bottles and finally got around to stopping by and asking about them. He was somewhat embarrassed to admit he didn’t get these at Countryside, but since I don’t think we carry them, it’s okay to say he got them by mail order, but I won’t say where. You can see from the picture how it works. You cut the end off a 2 liter bottle, screw a hollow plastic spike onto the other end and finally push the spike into the ground next to the plant. Using this system gets the water right to the root and doesn’t water the weeds. I think something like this would work to water indoor plants while you where on vacation as well.
Neil has been gardening for many years. His garden is actually in his neighbor’s yard but they let him use it. Every fall they rake up the leaves from both yards and pile them on the garden. Then they roto till them in and let them decompose over the winter. In this way they have solved two problems: what to do with the prodigious amount of leaves that accumulate and improve soil tilth.

Also last week I rode back over to the community gardens off of Barlina Road to see what progress had been made since my first visit in June. Wow, things had really changed in those two months. Only one gardener was out working when we were there, so we asked Don O’ Conner what he was growing. This year he was growing cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes and sweet potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. He had started out growing heirloom tomatoes but is moving away from them because of disease problems.

He does not garden organically. I noticed quite a few Japanese beetles flying about. He had a trap out and had trapped and killed a lot. He was using Sevin® (carbaryl) as an insecticide for the beetles not captured by the trap.

1 comment:

TopVeg said...

great ideas - the pumpkin on the plate & the photo of the scarecrow inspire!