Looking Down The Garden Row

Working on my large veggie garden this year has been quite a challenge. The time and resources it's taken to put it together have taken some work..and still more.

Running a water line back to our garden was a huge priority. In our climate, it hardly rains come July and August, so the garden would be in shambles if I had to drag a hose way out there every few days. It just wouldn't work.

My handy husband has set all of this up so I can start running drip lines down each garden row. This will reduce evaporation that occurs here from overhead watering and reduce fungal disease that often happens when water hits the leaves of plants.

Also, living in an area where drought is a possibility, we have to do everything we can to conserve water. Drip irrigation is the most efficient way we can water our garden. I will elaborate on other water conservation practices at a later time for gardens too.

I don't know if you can tell by this picture, but I'm using a form of gardening called Intensive. This is different than traditional row gardening and very similar to the popular Square Foot Gardening Method.

In this method, you are able to plant more veggies in less space. The beds are set up in a way that once they are prepared, they are left that way. You don't walk in them or cultivate them like a traditional garden. Over time, as needed, amendments are worked in by hand to build and replenish the soil. (and as you can see by the color of our soil we have a lot of silt which is grayish color and have a lot more compost and amendments to add for years to come)

There are several reasons I chose this method, even though we do have plenty of space for any type of garden.

** It's really windy and dry here at times so I want to reduce the transevaporation rate of the plants. Basically the plants and the soil dry out really quickly with sun and wind. By planting these closer in a cluster-like form, it forms a higher level of humidity within the plant group, reducing the evaporation rate thus better protecting the plants

** Pollination rate is higher when planting in groups rather than rows. This is especially true with corn. If you want higher corn yields, plant a square grouping of corn rather than a row.

** Living on silt loam, the water drainage is slow. The beds are mounded and slightly raised to keep from drowning the plants. which brings me to another point.

You may be able to tell from the latter photo that we are digging trenches that run the length of the garden. This is our walkway and also a way to hold/drain rainwater when it falls mostly to prevent pooling and flooding of our garden. It will also help to irrigate water deeper into the soil over a period of several days.

Our garden doesn't look like much now, but as the weeks progress we should be in better shape. Between our winter drought and trying to get the water line ran this past week, we have had our challenges. Now add that wonderful rain over the past few days... yes, I'm gaining hope. :)


  1. What a great start - and one BIG veggie garden. Let us know how you set up the drip irrigation - I am hand watering right now in my square foot principle garden

  2. The irrigation looks like a great addition. How about the bees? Honey season is near!

  3. Thanks @ Ragz! I will let you know!

    @Warren Thanks! The bees will be coming the early part of May, so I will be a bit behind this year on that. I have plenty of room for them, so I'm ready. :)

  4. I cannot believe the size of your garden. The new irrigation is going to save you hours of watering. I look forward to seeing how your garden progresses. Looks great!

  5. You are sure gardening on a very grand scale. You have a great garden writing style too. I can tell you love it. I learned from you blog that plants pollinate better in groups. Now I would have never known that and I know a lot about gardening. Are you in Kansas?

  6. Your veggie garden looks very different from mine. Much bigger for a start. I use the mix and match method and plant veggies, fruit, herbs and flowers together in my potager. Works a treat.

    Where are you at? I'm in the netherlands where water is a problem too, I have too much of it.

    If you'd like to see my potager it's on my blog.

  7. We have silt loam in Syracuse too. Great to work with when its moist, but wet? pure muck.

  8. What a great thing this Internet is. Here I am gardening in a small suburban acre in Ohio, yet I can enjoy watching you as you cooperate with the Texas prairie! It's a real mind opener to see outside our own box sometimes. Good luck with your projects! That drip irrigation seems to be the most environmentally sound way to go. I have to conserve water here to -- we've had dry summers for the past couple of years and have to watch the well. :-D

  9. Kris,

    Thanks. :) I've had to learn a lot about water usage since moving to Texas. Here, we're looking to super efficient places like Arizona on how they conserve water. You just can't take if for granted no matter where you are!


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