The local Bi-Mart had 25 foot soaker hoses on sale for $8.00 each. The 25 foot hose works just about perfect for a loop inside the 10 foot garden bed so all the plants get watered and the hose has little instruction guide about how long to water based on how deep you want the water to get into the soil. I did the first test on the first garden bed this afternoon watering the bed for about 75 minutes. All of the garden bed is watered without any puddling. The Frost cloth did a great job containing any excessive spray so all the water stayed in the bed. This weekend I’ll check to see how deep the water penetrated the soil to make sure I’m watering long enough for the water to get deep into the soil.
I picked up a couple of 6 foot hose “faucet extensions” that will let me daisy chain all of the garden bed’s soaker hoses. This little hose come with a valve on plastic spike so I can water beds individually and add another hose to water the cherry tree and potato buckets with out dragging a hoses all over the yard. I like using hoses for watering the yard but I want to have all the hoses pre-positioned in the areas I need to water. I still have a couple of garden areas to get hoses in place. The 3 sisters garden beds and the future greenhouse/compost bins water system are still in the planning stage but I’m excited to work on those since watering systems are a lot cheaper, creative and it is easier to build watering systems with off the shelf parts. For about $40.00 I got all of the stuff needed to water the garden beds as well as make the system expandable in the future.
I can’t recommend using Preen for stopping weeds. The water I added to activate the the Preen weed killer seems to have made the weeds grow faster in the alley. I’m going to keep the weeds cut back and go back to using the black walnut leaf mulch and wood ash this fall and winter for weed control in the alley. The wood mulch area looks mostly weed free and I will plant add good soil and plant some sedums and Mossy rose, to start replacing the bad weeds with plants I like for the alley. Perhaps a few sunflowers and sunchokes to add a bit of taller elements to the alley garden.
I’m growing grass in the backyard! Not MJ but a real grass cover crop. I have sort of that green haze as the grass seed starts to come up and most of the grass seed is about an inch tall. My tufts of back yard grass are also putting on growth. I will cut down the tall tufts of grass via weed wacker and wait on mowing to let the new seedling grass put down deep roots. It is early days reseeding the yard but it is looking very good for my basic plan
I started my first garden bed by just tilling up the local soil and then adding soil amendments. This was a bit backwards, as making good soil makes plants grow better and cuts down most of the weeding. My back yard grass space is surrounded by all sorts of weeds. Yet the good soil has seemed to keep the weeds out of the area.
I’m not a scientist, I’m just a gardener looking to build a sustainable yard and garden. I do a lot of trial and error stuff and error seems to be a big part of that learning. My grass seed is growing in the backyard and seems weed free after 2 years of work building soil.
I did a bit of a dummy as I set my cast iron pans to clean on the stove and then got distracted. Good news my fire alarms work great. Bad news is I destroyed the seasoning of my favorite cast iron pan. I’m a bit peeved at myself for getting distracted so the pans could set off my fire alarms. Now that pan has not burned off all it seasoning but the pan is rusting/oxidizing in spite of the lard I’m adding to season the pan. I screwed the pooch by getting distracted. I might be able to fix the pan but it is better not to screw up in the first place.