Hose, herbs, and holiday

If you have grown plants before you know some flourish and others wilt.  This week I think I have given up on my rhubarb.

My rhubarb skeleton

When I was given the roots they were really caked in clay.  I can make several diagnosis but most important it did not get off to a good start.  I have a friend who has offer rhubarb before so I am hoping to see if I can get some this fall.

This has been an exciting week of raspberry harvesting.  Next week I think we will go to a you-pick raspberry farm to collect enough to make enough jam for the year and for gifts.  We did start our jam season with a batch of strawberry jam. We purchased several quarts from a Mennonite family at a local farmers market.

Yummy strawberry jam.

The weather this week has really helped the garden grow.

The herb garden growing well, especially this past week.

The herbs are doing well. I did plant some more oregano and lemon balm seeds. Those two herbs did not germinate well.  We will see what comes of these late seed plants.

Many of the tomatoes has flowers. While taking a picture of the flowers I also found a young tomato. Can you see it?

Tomato flowers and small tomato on the right.

I do need prune the tomatoes and some of the peppers.  I want good fruit not just beautiful plants.

One of my goals this past year has been to improve my “companion” gardening skills. Companion gardening uses the variety of vegetables and flowers to attract helpful insects and to discourage damaging insects.    I planted some sunflowers and cosmos this week to add color.  They will bring pollinators and other helpful bugs like lady bugs.  I also hope some of the plants will discourage bugs who like to eat vegetables and leaves.   Companion gardening also uses plant variety to maintain or improve soil quality.  Beans and corn work well together this way.

A green bean in the foreground, corn in the middle ground, and Alyssum to add color and bring helpful insects.

A couple of weeks ago I heard from some friends, and they asked what a soaker hose is.  Well here is how I use a soaker hose.

Click to enlarge
The soaker hose is porous, and the water "weeps" through
Click to enlarge.
One end is capped so the water only weeps out through the hose.

The goal is to keep the hose close to the root/stem.  Then the plant root gets watered most efficiently.  The idea is that this saves water by not spraying it all over and helps the plant by keeping the leaves dry.  Wet leaves can spread disease or aid the development of disease.

The soaker hose close to the pepper plants.

Regardless, I find watering with the soaker hose much easier.  I hook it up. Turn the water on and let it go.  Then I forget I am watering the garden. I only turn on the water about two turns, in contrast to when I use the spray attachment when I turn the water about five or six times.

I hope you have a good week.  I hope you are able to enjoy some relaxation during the holiday weekend.


3 thoughts on “Hose, herbs, and holiday

  1. That strawberry jam looks delicious! Sorry about your rhubarb. I’ve never grown it, and if it doesn’t like clay soil, I guess I know now why I’ve never heard of anyone around here growing it much. Loved seeing your little tomato! Soaker hoses are perfect for the vegetable garden, as most plants are planted in rows. Have a Happy 4th!

  2. Spencer, what do you do to prune your peppers and tomatoes? I haven’t done any pruning on mine yet. I have two pepper plants that didn’t survive a bad storm a month ago, two that aren’t producing, and two that have a lot of young fruit. My tomatoes are doing very well though.

  3. I’d like to hear more about pruning peppers as well. I pruned tomatoes, but read it wasn’t recommended with peppers. Whats the best way to do it.

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