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Archive for October, 2008

Two weeks since our last rain shower and the plants getting a little thirsty, we decided to irrigate.  The soil is currently a haven for mole crickets which burrow amongst the seedlings, creating air pockets, that quickly dry out the roots of the plant.  Watering down the pockets saves the plants from french frying on the hot soil.

The quickest and most reasonable fix was to make what is essentially a rain barrel strapped to the front of our tractor with an off/on valve attached to a pvc shower-head.  We drilled a 1″ hole in the bottom side of the barrel and attached a 1″pvc T fitting with a ball valve to regulate the flow of the water and the pressure on the soil.  Finding a good adapter to make a secure fit when attaching the pipe to the barrel was a challenge.  We used a pvc male/female adapter with rubber gaskets and large washers to minimize wobbling.  It takes a full 55 gallons to make it down a 400′ row with the pressure almost all the way on, but the mole hills tamp down against the plant once again!  One round of watering takes 25 minutes times 20+rows is, well, a good long day!  We are bringing in the nematodes to help us out with these crickets.  Hopefully the rain at the end of the week will flush them out and secure the plants in!

A photo of the rain maker at work!  We were so thankful to bump into Ricky at the hardware store!

The deer have made the plot at the Swamp Farm their midnight buffet.  The sunflowers are about done, over half the beans went last night, and the tops of the cucumber vines are gone.  We tightened up the electric fence and added repellent bags to the line.  A radio left on at night and a cayenne pepper spray are the next measures!

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