Saturday, June 5, 2010

watering system

My favorite thing about my garden is the watering system. Steve set it up for me and so far it works beautifully. Our farm is right on top of the water table, and we have three ponds in addition to one that is supposedly in the wetlands. The deepest is next to Steve's tree nursery. He often jumps in there mid-summer to cool off after a long, hot day, and this year is promising to carve out a small beach on one end, dump a couple loads of sand, so that everyone on the farm can enjoy swimming there.

The largest pond is the one where we ice skate, between Tim and Annie's house and our house, in the area we call the Commons. There is a blue heron that hangs out there all summer and though each year the cattails encroach a little farther, it's the loveliest of the ponds.

We also have a small pond behind our house, which is next to my garden. It's where the log is that the turtles love. One morning I carried three turtles from various places by our house to that pond. I'm not sure why, but they prefer it to the large pond.

Steve set up a pump on a dock in this pond for my watering system. Then he ran two giant extension cords (from my house in Cold Spring-- I knew they'd come in handy at some point) to the house. The pump hose runs to a sprinkler in the center of the garden. All I have to do is plug it in and voila, nutrient-rich pond water falls like rain on the entire garden. Steve recommends watering the hell out of the garden, so I don't worry about leaving it on for a couple hours in the evening. The past few days we've had rain, so I haven't had to use it, but we had a long, hot dry spell before.

Steve has a bit of the "Tool Time Tim" in him, so when he first proposed the pump system he recommended a different pump and no sprinkler. If I just used it with a hose, he said, I could drench the garden in a few minutes. Sounded more like a fire hose than a sprinkler system, so I opted for the other choice. Now, until the hose in the pond gets clogged with weeds, or the sprinkler gets clogged, the system will keep my garden growing. And the fact that it's pond water, and "free," except for the electricity, makes me feel good, too.

The only thing I have to work on is my patience. We're still a few weeks away from peas and cherry tomatoes, so I have to make do with the lettuce and spinach-- which is great, but would be even better with pea shoots, cherry tomatoes and snow peas on top!

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