Brant
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Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Drip Irrigation

This year I installed a drip irrigation system. I have a very small garden, just two rows about twenty feet long. I mulched it, then put in drip irrigation with a timer. It should be almost maintenance free this year.

I am growing tomatoes, onions, green beans, and peppers again but obviously in small quantities. I am wondering about the spacing... Can I put the onions between the tomatoes? And do my pepper plants really have to be two feet apart? Tomatoes are the only thing in the ground right now...
Brant from Phoenix

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alaskagold
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Alaska

I wouldn't put your beans next to your toms, onions or peppers. They aren't very good companion plants.

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Alan in Vermont
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Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: Northwest Vermont, Champlain Valley

rootsy wrote:I would no-til the sweet corn if I had a planter capable of such. On my scale it is cost prohibitive at this point. I just keep muddling along with my 40 year old equipment. It is getting to the point where I need to do something, this small seeded SH2 I am planting is difficult to singulate in a plate planter and I end up thinning quite a bit by hand...
I'm kinda glad to hear somebody else is having problems with new corn in old planters. I can get my Brinly to set the spacing right but doubling and tripling on seed. I'm going to try filling the plate pockets with JB Weld and grinding a smaller pocket in that. I also need to thin the plate around the pockets as they are not only too big around/across but also too deep top to bottom. I can do the JB weld thing and not hurt anything as I can heat the plate and burn it out if it doesn't work. Once I take a grinder to the edges there is no real easy way to undo that if I get it wrong.

I have also had trouble getting modern corn planted shallow enough. Some of these corns don't have enough energy in the seed to break through more than an inch of cover. I set one of my garden tractors up with a custom built sleeve hitch that lets me adjust the planting depth. Last year that cured the buried seed syndrome, now I just need to get the plate issue resolved.

tedly
Cool Member
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:38 am
Location: Cheese mines of Wisconsin

New this year:
Putting up a rabbit proof fence around the garden - the furry varmints destroyed most of the stuff last year. :evil:
Figure out how to get rid of the @#$! gophers! :evil:
Better weed control. This means getting my tubby butt out there with a hoe more often. :(
Implementing more insect control measures.
Ringing the garden with Marigolds.
Expanding from 20'x30' to 30'by 30', and possibly another smaller section.
More potatoes and onions, those are the things I used the most last year.
Expand out the herb selection.
Pay closer attention to companion planting.
Start some things earlier - lettuce, peas, carrots, etc...
Still working on getting the soil where I'd like it to be.

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rootsy
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Posts: 435
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 1:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

Alan in Vermont wrote:
rootsy wrote:I would no-til the sweet corn if I had a planter capable of such. On my scale it is cost prohibitive at this point. I just keep muddling along with my 40 year old equipment. It is getting to the point where I need to do something, this small seeded SH2 I am planting is difficult to singulate in a plate planter and I end up thinning quite a bit by hand...
I'm kinda glad to hear somebody else is having problems with new corn in old planters. I can get my Brinly to set the spacing right but doubling and tripling on seed. I'm going to try filling the plate pockets with JB Weld and grinding a smaller pocket in that. I also need to thin the plate around the pockets as they are not only too big around/across but also too deep top to bottom. I can do the JB weld thing and not hurt anything as I can heat the plate and burn it out if it doesn't work. Once I take a grinder to the edges there is no real easy way to undo that if I get it wrong.

I have also had trouble getting modern corn planted shallow enough. Some of these corns don't have enough energy in the seed to break through more than an inch of cover. I set one of my garden tractors up with a custom built sleeve hitch that lets me adjust the planting depth. Last year that cured the buried seed syndrome, now I just need to get the plate issue resolved.
Sh2's don't like to be stuck in more than an inch - inch and a half and they require double the moisture of the Su and Se types to germinate properly. They are temperature sensitive (don't germinate well under 60 F). Make sure you get the slot closed up tight.

Finding plates for my IH plate planter is no issue. Ebay is riddled with them and you can buy them new if you want to spend the coin. These are all plastic, though the old cast iron plates will work.

The problem is really the inconsistent size of the seed. The shrunken kernel is sometimes round, sometimes flat, depends where it came from on the ear. It is graded but isn't anything like field corn or other genetic types of sweet corn. If you are going to make your own plate you really need a way to try it out before you stick the planter in the ground. A makeshift seed plate tester just to see how the plate is dropping seed over a distance. I generally just trip my planter to engage the plate drives while the wheels are up and pull it across the driveway.

One other very important item is the shoe on your planter. It needs to be a sharp V and most used planters are anything but. A round bottom in the slot allows the seed to bounce and it creates a compaction zone on the bottom of the slot.

I really need an IH 400 Cyclo and a popcorn drum...

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rootsy
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 1:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

Without reading back I am not sure if I mentioned laying plastic and drip tape to plant into. This is going to be a 5 year deal where the plastic will remain permanently with drip tape beneath. I'll be putting a cover of vetch and oats between rows and I will mow the oats off to cover the plastic.

In order to lay plastic I needed a plastic mulch / drip tape layer... New ones are entirely too expensive for my small operation to absorb and used ones around here are like hen's teeth... So.. As any self deserving engineer should do, I designed my own... I also built it... Just waiting to test it... Once the ground thaws and dries out. It is designed to handle a 3 or 4 foot wide roll of plastic up to 16 inches in diameter and a drip tape roll in excess of 22 inches in diameter. I have less than $200 into it as I had the disk hillers already.

[img]https://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/jaroot13/MULCHLAYERASSY.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/jaroot13/CID__0226111711a.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/jaroot13/CID__0226111711.jpg[/img]



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