Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Gardening Progress: Who Needs a Water Timer?, Yes They Grew! And Adventures in Tiny Container Gardening

Last week the garden was getting a bit on the dry side so I decided put our drip hoses to work. I had thought about splurging and purchasing a water timer, but surely the timer on my phone would do the trick equally as well. I turned on the water and promptly forgot about it. 3 *hours* later I came into the kitchen and heard the not-so-close-not-so-distance sound of water running. Oh crap! I promptly turned off the water and then hit Amazon to purchase a water timer. Lesson learned.

Since the timer arrived it's been wet enough that I haven't needed to hook it up. Last night was an especially crazy set of storms, and will probably keep the garden will damp for a few more days. But I figured I might as well setup the water timer anyway (and leave it off, of course). Here's a photo of it in action:

As a rule, hoses always leak on me. Always. To reduce the chances I'd have problems I went ahead and purchased brand new hoses for the season. And what do you see in the above test shot? Yes, water gushing from the right branch of the hose. Ugh. So classic. I don't have the energy to troubleshoot this today, so I just left everything as is and I'll come back to it another day. But really, why couldn't this have just worked?!

Other than the fact that the hose attachment is leaking, I actually very much like the water timer. It seems like it's going to do just what I need it to.

A while back I tried three Will It Grow? experiments. I dropped store bought Quinoa, a chunk of sweet potato and sweet peppers into the ground. I had my answer on the Quinoa pretty shortly after the experimented started: yes, it grows!

Over the last few days, I believe I've confirmed that both the sweet potato and sweet peppers are growing too!

The first photo shows, what appears to me anyway, to be a sweet potato seedling. And the second two photos are of clusters of pepper seeds. I just dropped them in the ground while still attached to the stem, so this is how I'd expect them to grow.

Amazing, right? I wonder what else I can start growing from the supermarket?

And here's a new Will It Grow Test:

I'm curious if how these small containers do. That's a Costco sized dishwasher soap tablet bucket, a mayo jar, the bottom half of a prune juice container (yum!) a regular old small planter. They have seeds for: tea, blue flax, borage and mint respectively. I'm also fiddling around with different ways of marking what's in the containers. That's Menchie Spoons vs. colored popsicle sticks. I should really get fancy and put QR Codes on the containers.

Will anything grow in these small containers? Will being able to bring them inside or perhaps give them away be handy? Will borage, which isn't supposed to be grown indoors, ever flower? Who knows (well, you do), but we'll find out soon enough!

Whenever I'm waffling about trying out these experiments, I think of this Chinese Proverb:

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

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