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Garden Newsletter: Garden Arches and Irrigation Systems

This weekly update is late. We enjoyed a fine family weekend to celebrate “Mother’s Day” and relaxing away from the technology. Now we’re running to catch up and feeling a bit like Fred and Wilma in the Flintstone mobile. 😉 😃

Now that summer is basically here, we’re looking to keep our plants adequately watered and, in some cases, protected from heat that can cause some plants to bolt.

New in the Garden this Week

  1. Irrigation system
  2. Programmable timers
  3. Shade cloth
  4. Kama Kama Squash
  5. Sugar Ann Snap Peas

Two major components we added this week to our gardens: The irrigation systems now have programmable timers and we’ve covered selected crops with shade material that cuts out 50% of the light. Though made of black material, the area underneath is actually kept cooler. So, we have most of our cole crops like Kohlrabi, broccoli, and cabbage as well as lettuce, chard, arugula, and spinach all under some shade.

Shade cloth over cattle panel tunnel garden beds
Shade cloth over cattle panel tunnel garden beds

The programmable water timers are a real time saver. We prefer the simpler ones with the rotary dial settings. They are easy to set and adjust, plus there’s a bypass feature that allows for an instant watering period.

With the straw bales, there’s very little concern if we over water or rain comes pouring down after a scheduled watering. We do like to conserve so we can dial back the watering time, or turn the timer off completely.  

We have several articles on irrigation systems you can browse through here.
And more on the drip irrigation system we use here.

Kamo Kamo Squash – First to Blossom

Our first squash blossom has appeared on the Kamo Kamo vine. Just cause for celebration, since this is the plant we’ve nursed through several frosts. The Kamo Kamo comes from the Maori people native to New Zealand. By all accounts, it is very tasty—both as a summer and a winter—“pumpkin-like” squash.

We got our Kamo Kamo Squash seeds from Baker’s Creek.


Growing Sugar Ann Snap Peas

Our Sugar Ann Snap Peas are coming on strong. We really like how neatly they grow and produce. They have to be the sweetest we’ve grown, and they are early and prolific producers.

Queen Anne Sugar Snap Peas,
Queen Anne Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar Ann Snap Peas – close up – sweet, crunchy and delicious!

We got our seeds from Baker’s Creek, and they’re also available on Amazon.


The Pallet Garden

And, finally, the pallet garden seems to be coming along. Given the high temps reaching into the low 90’s, we’ve had to put shade over the spinach and chard, plus spread organic straw over the seeded rows of lettuce.

How are things going with you? Warm enough for ya? Are you taking any extra measures to care for your more heat sensitive crops? Catch us up on your gardening by commenting on our Facebook page, or sending us a note.

May your gardens flourish and your harvests be bountiful!

Coleman Alderson

G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson

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