New Rain Drip Irrigation for Orchard and Garden

Spring arrives and it is time to use all the rain drip irrigation water that I stored during the Fall and Winter.  It’s also time to expand the garden and build a new orchard and vineyard.

Building More Rain Drip Irrigated Square Foot Gardens

White Sacks of Fertilizer and Grey Tarp to Build Rain Drip Irrigation Square Foot Garden Start
Rain Drip Irrigation Square Foot Garden Start
Square foot gardens are easy to build and much easier to maintain than a traditional dirt garden.  Really, a couple sacks of peat moss, vermiculite and compost is all it takes! Mix then 1/3 each on a tarp and then roll it into a 8×4 foot box on the ground.  I use a weed barrier as the bottom layer to help reduce the amount of weeding needed.

Rain Drip Irrigation in the Origianl Square Foot Garden

Brown and Black Square Foot Garden with Rain Drip Irrigation Installed
Square Foot Garden with Rain Drip Irrigation Installed
My original square foot garden continues to perform well.  I do add a bag of compost every year to help replenish the macro and micro nutrients in the soil.  My rain drip irrigation system is timed to flow enough water so that each plant is low-moist by the time the next watering cycle occurs.  In Texas, I water twice daily for shorter periods rather than once daily.
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The Square Foot Gardens

3 Brown, Black and Silver Rain Drip Irrigated Square Foot Gardens
3 Rain Drip Irrigated Square Foot Gardens
Rain drip irrigated square foot gardens and crowded by design.  That crowding can lead to problems when one type of plant shades another type of plant too much.  In my case, cucumbers compete too heavily with tomatoes.  So, I built two additional SFGs – one for tomatoes and one for cucumbers.  We’ll see how that works out.

Drip Irrigation Vegetable Harvests

Fresh Red Tomatoes
Fresh Tomatoes
I am always so excited to pick the first vegetables out of my garden.  It’s usually the cherry tomatoes and always worth a little celebration right there in the garden.  These didn’t even make it past the garden gate before I ate them!

Rain Drip Irrigation for a Porch Garden

Black and Silver Rain Drip Irrigation for Porch Garden with Green and Red Plants
Rain Drip Irrigation for Porch Garden
My rain drip collection system resulted in a funny little dog leg by my front porch.  A little ingenuity led me to build a small porch garden for plants my wife likes.  You can see the rain spout collection filter on the right side of this picture.  Garden where you can!

Cherry Trees in Texas?

Brown and Green Royal Lee Cherry Tree
Royal Lee Cherry Tree
The nursery in my area found a variety of cherry tree that has low enough chilling hours to qualify for growing in Texas.  I love cherries and am very excited about these bare-root cherry trees growing and producing in my rain drip irrigated orchard.

Rain Drip Irrigated Orchard Starts to Grow

Brown and Green Orient Pear Tree Adding Leaves
Orient Pear Tree Adding Leaves
Pear trees do very well in Texas and this little guy is growing quickly. This picture was taken in March when it was 24″ tall.  As of July, that tree is well over 12 feet tall!

Drip Irrigated Vineyard Starts Growing

Green Austin Dewberries on Brown Mulch
Austin Dewberries
These Austin Dewberries are starting to take off nicely from their rain drip irrigation!

Dweberries Don’t Like a Trellis

Green Dewberries Don't Like Silver Trellis
Dewberries Don’t Like Trellis
I have learned that dewberries do not like a trellis for their primacanes – no matter how much rain drip irrigation I provide.  I’m going to put these primacanes back on the ground for this season and try to move them to a trellis in Winter so that the floricanes are easier to harvest.  It’s also harder for snakes to hide on a trellis!

Orchard Gates and Hinges

Yellow and Green Orchard Fence Gate Hinge
Orchard Fence Gate Hinge
Each tree and vine in my rain drip irrigated orchard and vineyard have a fence around them to prevent the deer from eating the leaves.  But, to tend the trees and vines, I need to be able to get inside those small fenced enclosures.  Also, and possibly more important, I need to be able to get to the tree and vine to appreciate what it is doing and how it grows.  So, I build little gates for each enclosure from cattle/hog panels.  I devised a little trick using a wire insulator from an electric fence to function as a gate hinge.  They aren’t terribly sturdy and do wear out quickly but they definitely meet their goal of providing easy access to my trees and vines so I can more easily adjust my rain drip irrigation flow nozzles.

Summary of Rain Drip Irrigation for Orchard and Garden

Winter fades and the trees and vines in my rain drip irrigated orchard and vineyard and sprouting leaves and growing.  Spring arrives and it is time to expand my rain drip irrigated square foot gardens. I am very glad I expanded my rain drip irrigation collection tanks from a couple thousand gallons to over 5000 gallons!  I’m going to need more storage for the orchard and vineyard – always something to fuss with in a rain drip irrigated garden and orchard!

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