Harvesting, Cleaning up, and Watering

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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Fall is definitely in the air. With the ending of summer activities and the start of school year, Terra Nova Gardens has been a bit neglected. It seems that always happens this time of the year. The harvest is past its peak and the plants are starting to become a little tired and worn down. The weeds, however, are not so ready to give up.

This is what happens at my Terra Nova Gardens when I’m away for a couple weeks. OK, maybe a little longer.  It doesn’t take long for nature to take over. I often wonder how long it would take for nature to completely undo what I’ve done and it seems to not be very long.

A little work and a lot grunting and groaning with massive rest periods and large amounts of water consumption and it’s finished. The carpet was actually under all those weeds. Carpet slows down the weed growth considerably but doesn’t totally eliminate it. So, my method, as I’ve explained before, is to just turn the carpet over. It is a good way to smother the weeds and kill the roots. The carpet seems to last forever. The carpet you see here is probably three years old and still looks good. It was a good day’s work. 

This day’s harvest was a wheelbarrow of green peppers, eggplant and zucchini.

So, 22 stuffed peppers are now in the freezer with the rest of the peppers chopped, blanched, and frozen for adding to soups, scrambled eggs, or other tasty winter delights.

My search continues to find a better way to automatically water my bucket tomatoes. This the latest, but not the final, in a long line of summer experiments. It’s a 2.5 gallon water dispenser that has the spout extended into the gutter. The dispenser is airtight so water will only drain out when the water level is low enough to allow a gulp of air to travel up the spout. The concept works great but the vacuum from the water flow has enough power to almost crush the water dispenser. I even tried a heavy-duty water dispenser but it was crushed as well. My next thought is to use the actual 5-gallon water cooler jugs designed for such pressure and fabricate a stand for them to set on. I’d like to have two of them per gutter and one less tomato bucket. The weight would be right around 90 pounds when two jugs are full of water, so a support under the gutter would need to be built. So the hunt for a semi-automated watering system continues. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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