IN THE GARDEN


Green edible carpet

Greens Glorious Greens

Thanks to the unusually warm weather (high in upper 80’s) the greens are on the rebound. The raised beds once again look like a lush green carpet of tender greens. The snow peas are growing slowly but they are growing.  Still, we need rain. One can feel that the soil still is dry and wanting of a deep soaking shower. There’s a chance of rain tonight and into the weekend and we are praying that we’ll receive some decent precipitation.

There’s still a lot of frost damage to contend with The broccoli plants still look pathetic. We were surprised that they took such a bad hit when they usually do well under colder conditions. The broccoli beds are situation in what looks like a cold pocket in the garden where the temperature must have been in the teens during that 6 day deep freeze.

New Look

The front yard’s got a whole new look! Well, for now it looks sparse and bare (yikes!) because the perennial herbs and fruit shrubs have been cut back along the sidewalk. With the new arrangement the front yard will be even more productive (yeah!) as we try to integrate more productive annual vegetables into the landscape. In the meantime, we’ll have to be patient while all the plants sprout back and fill in the pathetic looks stubs that dot the landscape. It’s quite a shock to see the yard in this condition especially with the accumulated frost damage, but come spring it should be back to it’s lush and rambling state.   Friends and acquaintance who have dropped by were shocked saying “what happen to your yard?” It’s changing, times are changing and we are with it.

We are also added a bit more defining hardscape to the front yard which is really bringing out the collage of beds by re-using recycled concrete pieces from the concrete slab we removed last year and river rocks that we had left over. We are also thinking about buying a kumquat and a few other edibles fruits to add to the front yard already diverse edible landscaping.


Water wise garden: putting in the ollas

Yesterday the guys put replicated a “rock/clay pot bed” in ain the front yard. Last spring we made a rock/clay pot bed in the backyard (view pics) and we just love this old (new) method of water conservation and drip irrigation. Such clay pots are otherwise known asollas (which are, btw, available on PTF’s online store for $18 to $25).

The buried clay pot or pitcher method is one of the most efficient traditional systems of irrigation known and is well suited for small farmers in many areas of the world. Buried clay pot irrigation uses buried, unglazed, porous clay pots filled with water to provide controlled irrigation to plants. The water seeps out through the clay wall of the buried clay pot at a rate that is influenced by the plant’s water use. This leads to very high efficiency, even better than drip irrigation, and as much as 10 times better than conventional surface irrigation. This method is also very effective in saline soil or when saline irrigation water must be used. It has proved useful for land restoration in very arid environments.
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Irrigation with ollas (unglazed clay pots) is simple and extremely efficient, but the system gave way to modern watering techniques decades ago. With this type of irrigation, gardeners fill unglazed clay urns with water and bury them near plants. The tops of the ollas (pronounced OH-yas) extend above ground so the urns can be refilled as water is absorbed.The water slowly seeps through the porous clay, directly irrigating roots. As they grow, roots form a dense, fibrous mat around the olla — the water nourishes the plant, not the surrounding soil and weeds.Ollas virtually eliminate the runoff and evaporation common in modern irrigation systems, allowing the plant to absorb nearly 100 percent of the water.
Related Links
» clay pot irrigation
» clay pitcher irrigation

No Comments

  1. Angie Robinson says:

    Do you cover the tops of the ollas? Here in MN you’d get mosquitoes breeding in them if you didn’t.

  2. jill says:

    Hello, a few “olla” questions. Can they be used in colder NE climates without having to dig them up in the fall? How close can you plant to them, or more to the point how far can you expect the water to migrate so that you can figure how many of them would be effective??
    Also, you must buy seed in bulk..where do you purchase it and do you believe in organic seed?? Thanks…