Rainwater Drip Irrigation Garden Phase 2

I’m planting my raised bed garden in 4 phases this summer to see if I can extend my harvest season.  I’ve also expanded the number of gardens that I use with my garden drip irrigation.  I expanded my rainwater drip irrigation system and have a lot more water stored to use.  In fact, with recent rains, I’m already overfull and overflowing.  I’m planning on further expanding my rainwater drip irrigation and collection system to support additional gardens and a fruit tree orchard.

Phase 1 Tomatoes in the Raised Bed Garden

Raised Bed Garden Tomatoes
Young Green Raised Bed Garden Tomatoes
There’s a lot of myth and misunderstanding about when to let tomato plants flower and fruit.  This is especially true when using garden drip irrigation.  My historic knowledge said they needed to be 24″ tall before allowing flowers to bloom and fruit.  I read some recent research that says that 12″ plants are fine to bloom and fruit.  My Phase 1 tomatoes in my raised bed garden had been wanting to bloom for quite some time – they were about 18″ tall.  I’ve let them bloom and will use the new guideline of 12″ for Phase 2 – 4 tomatoes.

Lettuce Garden before Garden Drip Irrigation

Garden Drip Irrigation for Broccoli and Lettuce
Garden Drip Irrigation with Brown Dirt and Orange Flags for Broccoli and Lettuce
I had a septic tank hole that needed some fill and I used some of the topsoil leftover from the Duck Pond.  It worked so nicely that I decided to turn it into a garden and use some rainwater drip irrigation.  Unfortunately, it is very shady and most of the vegetables I enjoy are sunny ones.  My wife likes lettuce & brocolli so that’s what I planted.  I added some survival seek melons as well.  This garden started very rough with a lot of debris and trash in the soil.  I’ve spent a lot fo time cleaning and hoeing this garden but find it oddly satisfying.  I’ll add rainwater drip irrigation as soon as I see the plants establish themselves and it becomes too hot outside to water every day.
[ad#DCG Rectangle]

Corn Garden Started for Rainwater Drip Irrigation

Rainwater Collection Corn Garden
Rainwater Collection Brown Dirt and Green Grass Corn Garden
I noticed a lot of Johnson Grass growing over a septic tank drain field and decided that might be a good spot for corn.  I rented a rototiller and proceeded to tear up the ground for a corn garden with drip irrigation.  Well, they haven’t improved rototillers in the past 30+ years!  I managed to scrape a little soil but it was mostly clay mud that was dug up when they put in the septic lines.  I couldn’t even hoe furrows!  So, I just plated the corn by sticking seeds in the ground and we’ll see what happens.  I suspect I’m going to have a lot more work in the garden before it is ready for rainwater drip irrigation.  If it even performs at all by growing corn in a semi-sunn spot I’ll be pleased.

Young Corn and Grass!

Garden Drip Irrigation Corn Sprouts
Garden Drip Irrigation with Green Corn Sprouts peeking through Green Grass
The grass in my corn rainwater drip irrigation garden is growing faster than my corn.  Also, it’s Bermuda Grass and is going to be tough to get rid of.  Watering with garden drip irrigation only aggravates the problem so I’m still on hand watering in this garden for now.  And, I’m going to have to figure out how to get rid of the grass if the corn is going to stand a chance.

Phase 2 Tomatoes and Cucumbers in the Raised Bed Garden

Raised Bed Garden Phase 2
Young Green Tomatoes and Cucumber Spouts in Raised Bed Garden Phase 2
Phase 2 cucumbers and tomatoes in the raised bed garden are doing nicely.  They were planted 4/15 and Phase 1 was planted 3/15.  I have two more phases, 5/15 and 6/15.  If this works it should extend my harvest season.  The cucumber seeds very much liked the warmer temps and sprouted within a week or so.  Phase 1 cucumbers took upwards of 2-3 weeks to sprout. These plants are in a well established garden and get a lot of benefit from garden drip irritation.

Better Tomato Supports for Garden Drip Irrigation

Raised Bed Garden Phase 1
Green Tomatoes and Young Green Cucumbers in Raised Bed Garden Phase 1
My Phase 1 tomatoes and cucumbers have reached the size that they need additional support.  Rainwater drip irrigation is a very powerful tool to use in an established garden.  Drip irrigation hoses aren’t easy to adjust and tend to be a little fragile so having a very clear idea of what you want and how you want it makes using garden drip irrigation much easier.

Summary of Rainwater Drip Irrigation Garden Phase 2

Phase 2 planting of tomatoes and cucumbers followed a month after Phase 1 plantings in my raised bed garden.  The garden drip irrigation system is working very well this year and I have expansion plans into my lettuce garden and corn garden.  But, those two gardens need to emerge and stabilize before it is worth putting in the rainwater drip irrigation system that so benefits the plants and me.  Phase 1 and 2 plants are doing fine and I’m preparing to plant Phase 3 this weekend.