Monday, June 30, 2014

My Goodness, My Back is Sore

It all started so innocently. I thought I'd repair a few leaks in the drip irrigation. As I've said before (quite smugly, really) "It's so easy! It barely takes any time at all!" Well, that's true sometimes.

But recently, I couldn't get these leaks to unleak. I would patch them and they wouldn't stop dripping. Grr. It turns out that drip line gets less pliable over time, particularly if it's been exposed to the sun a lot (like if it hasn't been properly covered up after being repaired the last time--ahem).

So I decided that I needed to replace about 25 feet of the main line with new line. Which meant digging up all that line, cutting it out, laying in new line, and attaching it to the old line. Oh yeah, and then I had to attach new emitters where I thought I was originally just going to have to just repair a little leak. Not so easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

The gaping maw where drip line once was

And apparently I'm a masochist, because I was just getting started. Then I decided I needed to clear out the garden. I basically did an inventory of all the plants that were soaking up water but not producing much and decided to pull them out. If it was on a drip line, but wasn't producing food, attracting pollinators, or creating shade, it was out! 

For instance, it's been getting too hot for my full size tomato plants (the cherry tomato plants are still doing well). So I ripped those out and capped off the emitters that were running to the old tomato plants. Every time I did that, I would have clean up the mulch around the plant (either hay or gravel, depending on whether it was in the vegi garden or border) and fill up the hole that the plant left.

The last remains from two tomato plants

But then there were these big gaps in the garden. And I think we all know how much gardeners hate big gaps in the garden, right? I had to fill those gaps!

All that space, just taunting me!

But all this messing around with drip irrigation had really ticked me off at this point. Plus, I've become obsessed with saving water. So I didn't just want to drop some new seeds along the old irrigation lines. (No, that would be too easy!) 

So instead, I decided I needed to use ollas when I planted new plants because they would save me a bunch of water and I wouldn't have all these problems with maintaining an irrigation system. Which is great. But I had to do a lot of digging to plant them. So out came the shovel (and the Advil) and I started burying ollas in the garden.

And if it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm really not. I'm pleased as punch with all my progress. It's great to look out and see a cleaner garden and know that I'm doing my part to save water. But my back really is sore! I think I'll go take some more Advil.

No comments: