Friday, May 22, 2009

New spigot, planting & to do's

I wrapped up installing the new garden spigot today. I have been tinkering at it for a few days so it is nice it is finally done. Previously the spigot was at the back of the house and I kept knocking down all my plants with the hose so I moved it. I had to run about 12 feet of copper pipe and then tie it into the freeze proof spigot outside. I am happy to have a freeze proof spigot now because I have froze our previous one a few times. That's how I learned to solder.

Last weekend I built this to hold the hose reel that is also a new addition. I am running an underground pipe from the new spigot to this post that will be against the hedge. Once it is installed it will keep the hose away from all the gardens which will solve the problem of knocking down all the plants. It will also be nice to not have to step in the bed to get at the hose now either. I will post a photo of it once it is all set up.

I then planted three 'Jersey Devil' tomatoes in the oak barrel. These tomatoes are a paste type tomato and will be used for salsa and maybe tomato sauce if enough are produced. Unfortunately the multi-seeded lettuce never grew fast enough so they went in the compost. I know now to plant the whole barrel in early April in order to harvest it late May.

This year I am using heavy gauged tomatoes cages like I did last year but I am trying a few improvements. I have noticed in the 6 years I have grown tomatoes that they still tend to flop over once they are full grown. To help solve this I am adding bamboo in the middle of the cage and I will tie the plant along the stake with Velcro Plant Ties. I really like these ties, a 30' roll is pretty cheap, they are reusable and you don't have to tie knots with them. No affiliation by the way, I just like them.

After planting the barrel I moved on to plant the sunflower seeds that the Great Sunflower Project sent me. With the free seed they want the recipient to submit bee counts twice a month which I will gladly do. I planted them in behind the oak barrel so they do not create a shade problem for my veggies. Once the seed was in I covered them with chicken wire so the squirrels/birds don't eat them all. We feed the birds with black oil sunflower seeds so I didn't want them thinking this is their food too.

Now for what I need to accomplish this weekend but I am sure will not all get done:
  • plant the remaining 10 tomatoes
  • build a 2x2 trellis with trellis netting for the melons
  • build a bamboo trellis for the pole beans, post to come about that
  • install black plastic on the pepper & melon bed
  • finish the new bed around the oak barrel, this bed will house potted herbs, tomatoes & potatoes. It will also have rhubarb and some herbs planted in the soil. Another post to come
  • plant three compost bags with early red potatoes, a bit of an experiment to have early potatoes
  • clean and move the cold frame into the basement
  • install the hose reel & post
  • finish planting all the annuals in the urns & pots
  • weed, weed & weed some more
  • cut the lawn
  • yikes!

I will end with a photo of the remaining greens where the tomatoes will be planted. One row of spinach has been harvested and the row of radishes as well. The rest of the spinach will be blanched & froze and it looks like we better start eating more lettuce. The lettuce is so pretty you almost don't want to harvest it.

*my next post will be an overall garden update.


  1. You list is long - just like mine! LOL! The hose reel support structure looks very interesting. I am looking forward to the follow up post showing it installed.

    Good work on the spigot installation. That is a nice improvement and worth the effort.

  2. Dan, sometimes I just wish I could borrow you for...oh, maybe a month or two. You are the handiest person, and everything you do turns out just beautiful!

    I don't want to harvest my lettuce this week, either. It's just so pretty in the garden.

  3. You are going to have a busy weekend and I'm with Annie's Granny-sure would like to borrow about 5 of you!

  4. You are certain to have sore muscles if you complete all your weekend chores.

  5. That is a long list. I can never remember what I'm supposed to be doing. I just wander out and say to myself "oh yea I need to get the squash in. I need to pull out the spinach. I need to finish the tomato trellises." Thank goodness the big summer planting push is almost done. I'll be happy when the garden is in maintenance mode.

  6. Wow... that was NO small feat to get that spigot done! Congratulations.

    Thanks for the idea to use bamboo posts to support the tomatoes within the cage. I'm going to do that too.

    Is the Jersey Devil an indeterminate?

    Happy Gardening! Love your blog.

  7. KitsapFG-It is a nice improvement, the old setup has caused a lot of grief.

    Granny- Thanks. I can't be borrowed until my list of projects are done, probably a big enough list to be a novel!

    Tina- It is going to be a busy weekend. I can't wait for everything to be complete so I can just sit on the patio.

    Rosemary- And a sun burn too.

    Daphne- I usually only do lists when I have a lot to do. I tend to do many things at once but never really complete anything so the list seems to help with that. I can't wait until everything is in maintenance mode either, I am getting tired.

    Toni- Glade you like my blog, thanks for reading. The Jersey Devil is an indeterminate. The only determinate one I am growing this year is the early tomato and that one is called Siletz.

  8. You have had a busy week. Great job.

  9. I love the ongoing list. When I go to bed at night, my mind runs through things like this -- but they don't usually involve soldering.

    How nice it will be to have plumbing right where you need it. I'm having serious lettuce-envy!

  10. Looking Good. I'm partial to regular old twine, I love the look.

    I like your idea of chicken wire. I need that with all the chipmunks we have around here. I keep thinking about getting a pet falcon to take care of them for me.

  11. What kind of lettuce did you previously plant in the oak barrel? It looks similar to what I planted on my porch. I did my first harvest today and some of them tasted a bit bitter. Micro green variety? Not sure.