Thursday, July 21, 2016

the guerrilla gardener

In the container not around it!!!


As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

As I type this, like in most areas of America, I am in a severe drought. No I am not speaking of the kinds of drought Illinois has with everything green, but a real drought where even the weeds begin to start to curl.

This though is about the guerilla gardener in something which I hope will be remembered next year for that year's drought.

You will bankrupt yourselves with raised beds, with drip hoses and with sprinklers, as you can never water enough in these Rodale and Jewish Kubutz style vegetable gardens. The answer is trenching for a number of crops and pooling for others.

What I explain by this, is when you sow your row crops like carrots and beets, that you ensure that you are sowing seed into a trench about 2 inches deep by 4 inches wide in a V. I am not talking about earth moving equipment but a normal hoe will do this when marking your rows. Just make certain the dirt is not piled up to fall back into this small trench.

This trench will then hold moisture for sprouting, and mark for weeding. It will also in drought cycles, allow you to run your garden hose, not in a spray, but in a stream (not to wash out) but as you walk along, deep soaking that area.
One concentrates the water on the plant and not all over the garden to sprout more weeds or to waste it on wet soil.

For potatoes the trench is bigger and deeper, and in that one needs a roto tiller or tractor, which I do not have, but for the rich.........that is what one does, or you have to be like me in soaking with the hose at the potatoe plant stems, as potatoes require an inch of water each week.

For corn it is the same trench for the carrots, but a bit deeper. The idea is to soak the roots and when necessary hill the corn up as it falls over. Most years, we have heavy enough dews that the corn will trap that moisture and it will funnel down to the stalk, but this year it is dry as a bone and we do not even get sprinkles.

For vine crops, it is a bit different. I have for ground cherries, those plants in a slight depression I soak the water in with a hose. Pumpkins and squash behave alright with this method too, but metal coffee cans or pieces of plastic or aluminum in circles this size to contain water in cucumbers, melons and tomatoes is the only way to go.
If you like you can add some fertilizer to soak in to feed the plant also, but I have been using coffee cans since I was a child to concentrate water on vine crops, and it works wonderfully well.

In my location, you might as well stick mulch where the sun does not shine. It wicks water away in duff and in black plastic it is drier than the Sahara on drought year. So if you want to raise a garden in a drought, without costing a million dollars, you have to guerrilla garden and that starts with trenches, trenches and collars around the vines to concentrate water in.

As my keeper tomatoes did not sprout until late, it is offering me the chance to do something the Holy Ghost put to mind years ago, and that is container planting, which I intend to sink in the garden to conserve moisture, and then when frosts threaten these tomatoes are being removed in their containers to a warmer cold frame type location...........reports on this will follow to see if this was my stupid idea or God's brilliance again......or me not getting the message completely and needing to fail to get it to work.

Any way, if you want to survive, you need to start preparing for a drought when you plant in the spring when it looks promising. This is the Lame Cherry guerrilla gardener methods, and of course I hope you realize that most people would have put this in some Amazon book for 29.99, filled the above article with 250 pages of bullshit filler to waste your time as they croon about how big their hoe size is.

Once again, another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.