This past weekend we made a quick trip to the garden. I am no longer able to leave the plants alone for two nights because it is both hot (Phoenix broke 100 for the first time this past weekend) and the plants are getting big. One of the primary projects I wanted to accomplish was to get a good way along on adding a new zone to the irrigation system. We are decommissioning two other zones, so I can steal the program one of them used. The new line will be used to relieve some of the overuse of one zone and allow us to expand the garden area.
I had been mentally plugging in that we would have to drill through the foundation to run a new line. While not looking forward to that aspect of the project, I felt the extra water and flexibility a new zone would add more than made up for the hassle. Not everyone involved shared that notion. Turns out there was an old 3/4″ line already through an opening and we could run the new 1/2″ line right through that; so, no drilling required. We have not actually laid the entire line down yet, but I won’t really need it until we bring the plants I have at home up to the garden. I anticipate that being a mere 2-3 weeks away, depending upon weather forecasts. We might have to redo one of the connections, but I can get the parts before I next head up that way.
The other projects I wanted to accomplish were far easier. A few sweet potatoes had sprouted on the counter so I decided they should be planted. We used the traditional potato method versus the method recommended for sweet potatoes of growing slips and planting slips. We just planted them in a pot last year and they seemed to do fine. This year they are at least in deeply loosened soil.
I also wanted to overseed the radishes and beets. I thought I was getting a good start on things a few weeks ago when we planted radishes, beets, and bunching onions, but they have not done much yet. The nights are still fairly cool so maybe they are just taking a long time. I will be in trouble if the beet harvest is not good this year so hopefully this will work. If we do not have a good start in a couple of weeks I will have to order more seeds and try again.
The last easy project I wanted to do was spread crushed egg shells where the tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos will go. We have been saving shells for months, including the colorful shells that were dyed for Easter. Hopefully they will start to break down and add some nice calcium for the plants.
My little helpers made it up to the garden this weekend also. They helped with plumbing and electrical for the new irrigation valve and digging a trench for the line. They also, of course, helped plant the seeds and spread the egg shells. Every time they help out they get better and better at it. Ava had an appropriate shirt for the weekend, it said: “Find a Seed, Plant a Seed.”
At home, the plants are doing well. I have blossoms on over half of the tomatoes. The tomatillos are getting big and all have blossoms. The pimento peppers have lots of peppers and a couple have a slight tinge of red. The serrano and habanero peppers continue to blossom and set fruit. I think this is about 3 months earlier than last year, so there might be a continuing bumper crop of hot peppers. The ghost pepper is growing nicely and setting out lots of blossoms. No peppers that I can tell yet. Once the temperature and all are right I expect a lot of peppers as there are lots of blossoms at any given time. I still don’t know what I will do with a large crop of ghost peppers.
I will soon be planting the last of my seeds for now. The last things I have to plant before moving them into the garden are the squash type plants. I have cucumbers, gourds, pie pumpkins, and butternut squash. We’ll see if I forgot any when I go get the seeds.
Let’s all go plant some found (or purchased) seeds.