Well, the pots are in the ground and I have planted onions, spinach and lettuce (yes, I know its a little late for these crops but I never read instructions or I would have planted the spinach weeks ago – darn it)
I have a 4’x8′ bed and five pots. Using the diagram posted in Clay Pot Irrigation Part 1, I figured 16″ between pots so I would need 5 pots. For once I did the math correctly.
The holes needed to be pretty deep. I ran into some old tree roots I had forgotten about. Hope they don’t suck up all the water and starve my onions.
Here’s what they look like all sunk into the beds. Next time – IF I do this again, I will paint a little further down on the tops than I did this time. I have a feeling I am going to be rearranging the dirt a lot to keep the clay covered.
I busted an old clay saucer and used the pieces to cover the holes – to keep mosquitoes from breeding and other bugs out.
The green sprigs are the onion tops. I planted in a circle around the pots and along the edges of the bed because the water radius is supposed to be 16″ and I felt like I was wasting space in the bed by not planting something. I filled the pots with water once they were in the ground and then watered the newly planted plants and seeds to get them started. Justin at Little Homestead in the City very kindly replied to my email question on this topic. He said they surface water until the plants get big enough to reach the pots, then they let the pots take over.
That was all done yesterday afternoon. This morning I went out to check water levels in the pots. Remember from Part 1 that I said I checked for leaks only on one of the pots? BIG MISTAKE!!! If you decide to make DIY ollas, check ALL of them for leaks!!! Two of my pots had water levels low enough that I could not feel it with my finger; three of them were pretty much still full. DANGNABIT! You know what I really want to say. Just use your imagination. So, I have 2 pots that are pretty much going to be useless. I’ll still have to surface water in those spots. One was my lettuce and one of my onion areas. There is no way I’m digging those babies up at this point. They can just sit there all summer. When I dig them up in the fall, I’ll reseal them for next year.
So, at this point, the one bed is all I’m going to invest time and money in for the clay pots. If the whole system works well, I’ll do more next year and WILL TEST EACH AND EVERY ONE FOR LEAKS. AAHHHGGG………
So, in spite of the frustration, I also got my potato bed planted – never grown potatoes before. I found tomato plants at the nursery yesterday when I went back for more soil. Its a little early but they were going like hotcakes and not to be left out of the frenzy, I bought three. They’re in the ground and looking a little shocky, but hopefully will perk up. The bell pepper plants are in as is the cilantro. I LOVE cilantro. Grew some last year and really enjoyed it.
About May 1 the okra and cantalope will go in and that’s it. Something else I made sure to do this year was mark on the calendar when each veggie should be ready to pick. Being so new at this its hard to tell how big to let something get before picking it. So having it on the calendar will give me an idea of when its time.
Hope you’re all having fun getting your own gardens going. You know, it would be great to get some comments. I have readers, but very few ever respond or comment on anything. Is anybody out there?????
Keep it simple, ya’ll.