Placing the pipes would be pretty messy and destructive with a post hole digger so I wanted a dirt auger to neatly make holes to place the watering pipes. Dirt augers are a bit more expensive when they are for sold for irrigation but oddly enough, animal trappers use dirt augers to make holes for small game animals and were less expensive. Thanks again eBay!
On the whole, I think my garden will take a different shape next season as well. In keeping with the drought watering I was reading about ollas and other clay pot watering methods dating back to before Roman times. This method of watering was 'invented' on every continent and seems to be making a come back for smaller farmers with limited water resources.
I am thinking to maybe even automate the refill process using a computer based irrigation control system and power from the solar installation on the chicken pen. My front lawn has been watered using a PC based system with a relay board for years. Just plug in the sprinkler valves to the relay board and scheduling software to open and close the flow. Using a remote desktop session I can turn the water on a neighbor's dogs or kids - It's been great!
For the garden, I'm looking into using an Intel Stick computer and a USB relay board to control the sprinkler valves. It's tiny, uses very little power, has built in wireless networking and no moving parts to wear out.
Back to lessons learned:
- Corn - WTF was I thinking. I always miss the correct time to pick the corn and end up with starchy corn. Drying it out and grinding it for the chickens has been my only use for it. No more corn.
- Collards - I am the only one who eats them. Next year, one or two. Maybe
- Strawberries - CONTAINMENT! I need to cut this back to a 4 x 10 patch and keep the runners from going everywhere. I was thinking to use cinder blocks to make a edge boundary around the patch that will also double as a hoop house base so I can over winter the plants without frost killing them off.
- Okra - I'm the only one eating it. My timing to harvest is really messed up since I miss them when they are at the small edible stage and am only picking large woody okra pods. No more.
- Squash - Again, I'm the only one who will eat it so it's kind of a waste to grow.
- Sunflowers - I really need to stay ahead of the weeds but these sunflowers are just getting out of hand. I like that they help with attracting bees but it's a bait and switch for the bees since there is nothing really for the bees.