Where Is Everybody?

18 08 2011

Your garden without drip irrigation....:-)

What:  Landscape Solutions –Water Smart — A Waterwise Landscape Workshop

Where: Longleaf Botanical Gardens (formerly Lenlock Community Center)

Cost: Free

Time:  8 until 11 AM

Date:  Thursday, August 18th

Speakers:   Hayes Jackson, Alabama Cooperative Extension, and Jay Cummings, Green Way Sprinklers

Pre-Register if you can : Calhoun County Extension Office at 256-237-1621

Open to the Public

I got that invitation in an email about a week ago. It was from Sherry Blanton, this nice lady who is with the Calhoun Master Gardeners. I’m so glad I went.  But what I don’t understand for the life of me is why more folks weren’t there.  A dozen folks showed maybe and it wasn’t that the folks that did show up were disappointed or anything, they weren’t.  For me it was just with the temperatures so hot these days, gardens burning up right and left with the rain deficit  we got now, watering bans not that long ago and coming back again for sure, well I would have been happier if more folks had shown an interest and showed up….I mean as popular as veggie gardens are now, landscaping your house adding so much value to your house and folks staying closer to home these days and kinda wanting to make a paradise in their backyards instead of catching a plane and going to somebody else’s paradise, water conservation so important now and the thing of the future, the thing we’re all going to be dealing with in the future for sure, things like the rising cost of water and it getting scarcer…like I said I just thought more folks would have shown up…..

Now I knew some of the things Hayes and Jay went over and I learned some new things too.  And talking to me about irrigation is like preaching to the choir, though I don’t have an irrigation system myself yet. It’s kinda like having something you remember and you know you know and it’s on the tip of your tongue, I know I got to get me an irrigation system and now I am………:-)  It was a good program as usual from Hayes Jackson and it was nice to finally meet Jay Cummings, who talks about irrigation and is as excited about it as I am about coneflowers and old fashion climbing roses…. It was an interesting presentation by both of them but going over to the Museum and seeing the irrigation setup over there and see it running and keeping the plants hydrated, fresh and healthy looking was just a good reminder of what a wonderful thing drip irrigation really is. Not only for the PLANTS but for the PLANET, for YOUR POCKET BOOK and for YOURSELF.  So when the conversation turns to how hot it is and how somebodies flowers or veggies or both are burning up and its too hot  for them to get out there and hold a water hose like the Statue Of Liberty for hours and hours and then half the time you either don’t water enough or you water too much or too fast or not enough or too much in the right place or the wrong place….and on and on and on…..Kinda like having a conversation about whose got a better football team this year, University of Alabama or Auburn, before the season even starts and sometimes even when it’s  already over, it’s a never ending conversation that kinda sounds the same every time…:-)

There are lots of ways to irrigate you’re garden. Soakers hoses, drip irrigation, new type sprinklers or like I said standing out there with a hose in your hand. Now I been standing out there with a hose in my hand for the last 6 years and it’s not been all bad by any means. I like standing out there every now and then in April, May, maybe even June, but July and August and September? Are you kidding me? Forget it…..I love gardening and I want to take care of my plants as well as I can and keep them from stressing about as much as I want to take care of my wife and keep her from stressing but sometimes no matter what you do, how long you got that hose in your hand it just ain’t enough or not as good as it could be for the plants and for you too….An irrigation system will give me more time to do the things I really like to do, which is take care of my plants as best I can, drip irrigation is only one of those nurturing things. There’s deadheading, weeding, replenishing the mulch, moving a plant here or there, trying something new here or there, a dab of compost here, a dab there, planning for next year, evaluating what you did this year and last but not least by any means, not doing a darn thing, just walking around your garden and enjoying just being there…Looking at the new buds breaking, enjoying new blooms, watching butterflies flitter about from flower to flower and the sound of the birds singing and if by any chance there are no nosey neighbors around, singing yourself……:-)

So I reckon I’m going to finally have me an irrigation system and I got lots to irrigate for sure. Not as much as some folks I reckon but I got lots more than a good many fellow gardeners have I’d venture to say….But a little or a lot, drip irrigation is the way to go. I know those of you who read my little stories regularly or even every now and then know I’m the biggest liar that ever that set down in front of a keyboard……:-) But you gotta believe me this time  fellow gardeners and I gotta a feeling you do this time…DRIP IRRIGATION IS THE BEE’S KNEE’S, THE BOMB, NEAT, COOL, SMART, COST EFFECTIVE, GREEN AS GREEN CAN BE, CUTTING EDGE AND IT’S WHAT I LIKE TO CALL A “NO- BRAINER”,  SO JUST DO IT….

Listen if it’ll help at all just forget about how much money you’ll save in the long run, how good it’ll be for the planet and for your plants and blah, blah, blah, just do it for one reason and one reason only, the most important reason I can think of…….DO IT FOR ME……..:-)

Paul From Alabama

Addendum:

Remember 2007 Alabama gardeners and some of you other folks from other states down this way?  Yea 2007, well I didn’t forget it and here is a friendly reminder from Paul From Alabama:  http://paulfromalabama.com/105-2/

I’m always asking, inviting, begging and threatening fellow gardeners to come by and let me share our garden with you and when and if you do come by, and I sure hope you do, this time next year, well I can promise you one thing. Our garden and all the plants in it will be happier and healthier  and so will I when you drop by…So here’s a toast to drip irrigation and to you coming over to enjoy our garden and the birds and butterflies whenever you can…..

Here's a toast to drip irrigation and to what you're garden will look like without it, where I was at back then, THE SINAI DESERT.....;-)

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6 responses

18 08 2011
Nell Jean

Will this be a Do-It-Yourself project, Paul? If so, will you wait until it is cooler to start?

I watered here and there today. We figured out that I can run 4 hoses wide open and the pump can keep up. I have various sprinklers, dribblers, soakers and so on. I don’t always want every bed watered the same, so I drag a hose or two or 10. He-who-mows has proposed just running some pipe to a dozen risers, cranking up the farm irrigation pump and we’d be watered completely in 30 minutes at 600 gallons a minute. I resist that idea until walking on crispy grass begins to grate.

19 08 2011

I’m leaning towards letting this man from Greenway Sprinklers do it. leaning towards it so far I’m about to fall over……:-) I’m wishy washed from inline emitter tubing exclusively to a mix of that and sprayers and bubblers…..I like the idea of the headers being buried and he can do all that much better than I could and he gives a 5 year guarantee on everything, parts and labor….All timers, filters, pressure compensators etc the whole smear……:-) I love to do things myself, but when it comes to electricity and plumbing I have as much confidence I can do that and do it RIGHT as I think I could operate on myself for a heart transplant……:-) Time and the amount of money I put aside will tell the tale….I’m pretty excited and I’m going to start eating potted meat and saltine crackers for lunch and dinner till I set aside enough money for the whole project…..I haven’t told Linda how I’m planning on paying for it and since Linda is a vegetarian and doesn’t eat potted meat or filet mignon either, well I might run into a slight problem…..:-)

19 08 2011
Linda

Ummm…. Linda will be fine with it as long as she can retrieve the space on “her side of the house for the vegetable garden “we” planned on “her” having when “we” moved here and started the garden. That means growing tomatoes in the foxgloves bed, pole beans and corn in the bed where the pink zinnias and hibiscus are, cukes and squash in the the third bed, peas, peppers and okra where the astilbes are and melons will replace the sun ferns and crinum lilies. No, wait… even I couldn’t ask you do that. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t! Tell you what, if you’ll agree to peanut butter on wheat instead of potted meat, beans and potatoes instead of salmon and shrimp, we’ll save enough so you have the system and I’ll work veggie-magic on my new “side of the house” next year. Deal? I thought so. Now, I’m off to spend the day at the pool with the girls. Have fun watering. :-)

19 08 2011
Nell Jean

oh, oh. Do I need to lend you my book on how to integrate veggies into the landscape so you can have your flowers and eat them too?

20 08 2011
Linda

I would love that, Nell Jean…. but we’ll need to see what Paul thinks! :-) Hope you are doing well this hot, hot summer.

20 08 2011
Nell Jean

Linda, when Paul’s not looking, I’ll introduce you to guerilla gardening, where you sneakily — I was going to say surreptitiously but I can’t spell it — place plants among others or toss a seed bomb into a bed. He might not notice a few artichokes and snow peas and asparagus until they were ready to eat. I used to more the edges of borders all the time and make barriers of rebar so he-who-mows couldn’t cut down my plants. Now I pray for him to accidentally run over something so the beds get smaller and I can just blame him. Good scapegoats are hard to find. Oh, it was a hot day today. I made a little chili so we could remember how good food tastes in the winter.

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