Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gardens, vacations, and irrigation

              Have you ever gone on vacation and wondered what your garden would look like upon your return?  Did you believe you’d find nothing but weeds? Or find limp, possibly dying plants lying on the ground? Or learn that your best laid plans to inform the rodent population that your garden was not the neighborhoods version of New York’s famous Le Bernardin restaurant?

               In my recent emergency trip to Anchorage, Alaska, the last thing I thought of upon hopping on a plane was my garden. Thankfully, I have a wonderful neighbor who loves gardening as much as I do.  He came over daily and watered my plants. As a result, I came home to a lush garden.  My roses, that I had planted as bare roots only a little over a week prior to our hasty exit, were now putting out leaves and branches.  Primrose and Lilies were in bloom, and my peas had grown over a foot in length.

               The secret was the irrigation system I’d spent the spring installing in each of my raised beds. A mixture of drippers and soaker hoses, which with one turn of a knob, can water my whole garden in thirty minutes with little to no water waste.

               When I lived in Ohio, it was rare to have to water my garden other than in the heat of summer.  Even then, it rained frequently enough that additional watering was rarely necessary.  However, in the desert climate of Nevada where the daytime temperatures are already hovering above the 90 degree mark, my gardens need watering at least once a day—and sometimes twice.

                 The cost of the equipment needed to install the automatic irrigation system as already paid for itself.  It’s so easy, even my husband—the man who refuses to have the moniker of gardener associated with his name—can do it. Also by using a drip system, it cuts down on the weeding, because I’m watering each plant individually, rather than the larger area.

               For the next few Thursdays, I’ll be talking more about irrigation.  But in the meantime:  What is your largest gardening disaster when on vacation?


  1. Disaster on vacation. How about disaster not on vacation. lol How I wish I liked to garden. Or even was successful at it when I try. I'm not even good with plants in a pot. As soon as I touch them they wither and die. Well, maybe not as soon, but it doesn't take me long to either drown them or thirst them to death. But you, on the other hand, have a beautiful garden even in the desert. Enjoyed your post, even though it went over my head. :-)

  2. I wish we lived closer. I'd show you how to have a great garden!