Garden Log 5/31/21

I’m mostly working on getting my watering better set up today. Every year, I try to get all the hoses and such put away before frost, but somehow by the time I drag them out again, inevitably seems that some are not in the best of shape. This year, almost every hose seemed to have a cracked metal fitting or multiple leaks — I have some silicone sealant that is supposed to working for actually repairing those, but at least for one section, I decided to just go ahead and buy some more hoses.

For the back garden (about 40×30?), I end up using four hoses. The two middle ones are for sprinklers that I have to move a few times when doing deep watering. I try to deep water 1-2 times / week for most of the season, for a long stretch, so the water goes deep and the roots are encouraged to grow to find it — frequent shallow watering isn’t as effective for healthy plants. Of course, in the height of Chicago summer, I may have to water daily (or even twice daily at the very worst of it).

The two faucets at the ends, I have attached to spray hoses — one for the greenhouse, because the sprinkler doesn’t effectively reach inside it, and the other to take up to the back deck, where most of my tropicals live.

The main key here is to make sure that all the connections are water-tight, replacing the little black rubber washers as needed (occasionally even doubling them up). My faucet in back is under the back deck, and if I have to duck underneath to turn on the water, it’s a serious disincentive. (I’m almost 50, and bending isn’t as easy as it used to be!) I need a set-up that’s as easy as possible, or experience has shown that I’ll neglect watering and start losing plants. (So many dead plants in the early years in this garden! V. sad.)

If the connections are water-tight, then I can turn on the water under the deck and leave them on all summer, then using the four-way switches to turn on the sprinklers; I can even leave the four-way switches for the spray hoses turned on, using the switch at the nozzle to turn them on and off. A little planning now, hopefully maximum ease of watering later.

Later this week, I’ll work on drip lines for the side yard vegetable garden.

Heavy-duty brass 4-way hose splitter:…/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title…

Expandable garden hose with nozzle and storage bag (light to move! be sure you get the length you actually want — for my back garden, I use 4 25′ lengths, which is just exactly long enough):…/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title…

NOTE: Big dead area in lawn doesn’t reflect poor watering, but where the pool was last year, and where it’ll be again this year. Time to set it up soon!

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