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goiing out of town, need watering advice

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goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  retired member 2 on 6/8/2011, 7:31 pm

Hi all, well the SFG is going full force. I have changed the name of Mel's Mix to Monster Mix, because my plants are growing huge! I can't believe it. However, the do require daily watering. And that is my dilemma. My gardens get no shade and are growing on a hilltop that is mostly slate. After a day or two without rain, the grass is brown and crispy.

We will be out of town 4 days and I am really worried about my SFG's. Of course, before I leave I will give them a good dousing, but what about the next 4 days! Because they are all so huge, most of the soil surface is covered, but it still dries out. I can't afford soaker hose.

We live a LONG way from town and my friends just aren't close enough to come and water for me.

I've come so far with this, I would hate for a 4 day trip to kill everything.

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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  stripesmom on 6/8/2011, 7:42 pm

If you don't want to put in drip lines on a timer, then this would do in a pinch=
http://www.harborfreight.com/6-piece-watering-cone-set-93182.html

Not sure who posted it, think it was famervalerie, this is some thing you could use. You screw a big old 2 litre pop bottle on it and it drips. They even mail it if there aren't any harborfreights close.

Also, you might consider mulching with some straw or some thing else.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  fiddleman on 6/8/2011, 7:53 pm

My thoughts...
Lot's of water (of course)
Mulch
Shade cloth
Wind barrier

I would think about putting down plastic or cardboard around the plants to cut evaporation of the moisture from the squares... then straw/shredded paper/woodchips/mulch piled high on the plants to hold the temperature of the soil down and cut evaporation from the plants themselves, place a shade cloth over the plants to cut the heat on the plants, and make some kind of wind break around the squares on side from the prevailing wind.

The plants should be okay with these precautions I should think. My concern would be to cut the temperatures and reduce evaporative losses to a minimum. As long as the plants are getting indirect light, they should come through okay.

Of course I could just pray for rain while you're on vacation!
Mark
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  boffer on 6/8/2011, 8:30 pm

Since you don't have tender seedlings or seeds that will float away, I'd go old school. Find a lawn sprinkler that will hit all your boxes. Buy a battery operated timer that fits on the faucet end of the garden hose. Set it to turn on for 30-60 minutes every day, about 4am. The water droplets on the leaves should be gone by the time the sun gets hot enough to burn.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  boffer on 6/8/2011, 8:39 pm

@stripesmom wrote:If you don't want to put in drip lines on a timer, then this would do in a pinch=
http://www.harborfreight.com/6-piece-watering-cone-set-93182.html

Reading the customer reviews leads me to believe that the bottle empties in minutes. The purpose of this product is not to provide a slow, long term watering solution. Its purpose is to get water to the plant roots, which isn't a problem when using MM.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  walshevak on 6/8/2011, 9:24 pm

@boffer wrote:Since you don't have tender seedlings or seeds that will float away, I'd go old school. Find a lawn sprinkler that will hit all your boxes. Buy a battery operated timer that fits on the faucet end of the garden hose. Set it to turn on for 30-60 minutes every day, about 4am. The water droplets on the leaves should be gone by the time the sun gets hot enough to burn.

I agree. This is what I did when I left town for 2 weeks TWICE. Worked fine. I had mine set for 20 min at 7 am. However, now that the heat is really on and the plants are bigger, I would reset for 40 min at 4 am. I had a little problem finding a sprinkler tall enough that would hit over my tabletops. Paid $45 for a fancy one that didn't work worth spit. Returned it and bought a $3 single stake plastic sprinkler. Pounded a piece of rebar into the ground, added a 4' piece of 1" pvc piping and set the stake sprinkler in it. Paid for a good timer and all was fine.



It has a bit of trouble getting the far corners of all the bed now that the plants are high. The swiss chard is so thick it blocks one of my peppers and the broccoli got so tall it blocked 4 squares of peas, but it kept the garden alive for 2 weeks at a time.

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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  retired member 2 on 6/8/2011, 9:27 pm

Well crap! I just ordered 48 of the little buggers!

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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  walshevak on 6/8/2011, 9:34 pm

clb58 wrote:Well crap! I just ordered 48 of the little buggers!

With the crazy heat and dry weather we've been having, you may find these helpful for maintaining good watering levels while you are home, but I don't believe they will provide enough water for the 4 days you will be gone. Just my opinion and I've never used them. Maybe Farmer Val can enlighten us.

Kay

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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/9/2011, 2:11 am

Try googling gravity fed watering systems or something along those lines. You may possibly be able to make one yourself with some ingenuity.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  shannon1 on 6/9/2011, 2:43 am

@AZDYJ2K wrote:Try googling gravity fed watering systems or something along those lines. You may possibly be able to make one yourself with some ingenuity.
yep I made my own ou of a 2 liter bottle another tip in Mel's first book or the PBS show I don't remember which.
They worked great and did not drain out fast but lasted a couple of days even in our hot weather. I think it was because the holes were smaller. The only trouble I had was when they stopped draining at all due to the roots trying to grow into the bottle. I just moved them a bit and that took care of it.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  mijejo on 6/9/2011, 4:09 am

Shannon (or others), can you explain how you made your self-watering contraption from a 2-liter bottle? Thanks.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  shannon1 on 6/9/2011, 5:31 am

Sure,
I cut the bottom of the bottle off and used a hammer and a very thin small nail to poke holes in the lid. Next I buried the upside down bottle in the soil down to the bottom (root level)filled with water and rubber banded mesh over the cut out bottem to keep anything from dropping in. Next time I will poke holes in the bottem of the bottle and just use the screw top to keep junk and bugs out. I don't see why that would not work just as well.
Some one here posted how their mother or grandmother did a similar thing with a tuna can.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  quiltbea on 6/9/2011, 6:27 am

I was going to suggest plastic 2-litre soda bottles as well.
I was thinking of burying them rightside up with small nail holes around the outer bottom edge, putting it in between 4 plants so you get 4 watered slowly. Keep the lid on to keep out pests.
The water gets to the roots where its needed most and doesn't evaporate.
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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  Hoggar on 6/9/2011, 12:33 pm

Here is what I use just attach the sprinkler and hose of your choice
and away you go worry free

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Re: goiing out of town, need watering advice

Post  shannon1 on 6/10/2011, 12:12 am

@quiltbea wrote:I was going to suggest plastic 2-litre soda bottles as well.
I was thinking of burying them rightside up with small nail holes around the outer bottom edge, putting it in between 4 plants so you get 4 watered slowly. Keep the lid on to keep out pests.
The water gets to the roots where its needed most and doesn't evaporate.
Yep that's the way I'm doing it next time.
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