Our 2021 garden: we have silk! and loving the new tool

With today’s expected heat, I was out in the garden by 6am, and ended up staying out there for almost 3 hours, watering and weeding. The watering was started after replacing the connectors on three hoses.

I’m a goof, but it did work.

When I bought the connector repair sets, I got what was left on the display, and didn’t even think to look at the sizes. They are for 1/2 inch hoses.

We have 3/4 in hoses.

No matter. The clamps they came with could tighten enough to properly seal them. They will do while I am on the lookout for the right size connectors.

The little flexible piece I got for the tap, to prevent kinking, leaks. In several places! I guess I got a cheap one, though there wasn’t much choice. It still leaks less than it did before. One of the leaks is at the tap itself. Every single hose we’ve ever hooked up to that tap, leaks there. I plan to replace the tap itself, eventually. Meanwhile, there is some very luscious growth happening around the blocks we have under the tap. πŸ˜€

When I headed out again this evening, I got to break in the new action hoe.

What a fantastic tool!

I first tried it in one of the onion beds. It did well, but the onions are planted in a three row grid, and it just didn’t fit in between them, so there wasn’t a lot I could do with it, there. Mostly, I used it in the space in the middle, where the purple kohlrabi failed to grow.

It was at the Mongolian Giant sunflowers that it really did the job!

The soil here has always been rock hard, and baked bone dry. Right now, the only soft soil is the layer we put down for each row, and that was just a few inches deep. That anything we’ve planted here is growing at all is pretty remarkable. This thing worked like a dream!

Now, don’t get me wrong: it was still really hard to work around the sunflowers.The soil in between the rows is even harder now, as we walk between the rows to water things. It wasn’t just the hard soil, but also the very fibrous roots from the plants that were already growing here, and now enjoying regular watering for a change. This hoe was able to cut through those roots, and the rock hard soil at the edges of the paths. I was then able to pull out the cut weeds and their roots, before hilling the loose soil around the sunflowers a bit.

I am very impressed with this thing! The tool I was using around the corn before worked well; better than a regular hoe, but not as good as the action hoe. It was one of the unusual tools we’ve found around the place. The head of it is shaped almost like a mattock, except… not. LOL The “hoe” part of it is longer and narrower than a regular hoe, and it has a two pronged spike on the other side that I believe is a weeding tool. I’ve never tried to use that end, yet. It works really well at cutting into the hard soil. Better than a regular hoe, as least. Unfortunately, it’s quite old, and the head sometimes pops off the shaft.

I was doing one last row with the action hoe in the next corn bed, when my daughters came out to do the evening watering. My older daughter had finished watering the beds closer to the house with the hose, and when she came to continue watering where I was working, she told me about something awesome she found in the Montana Morado corn.

Silk!

Our very first corn to start showing silk!

If these are going to be maturing so unevenly, we may need to hand pollinate the silk, just to make sure they do get thoroughly pollinated. It would be pretty hit and miss to rely on the wind to pollinate the corn, when there might be only one or two corn plants ready to be pollinated at a time.

I am so happy that this corn seems to be working out so well!!

Today is supposed to be the last day of our heat wave. After this, we are dropping to more average temperatures. The expected high had been 38C/100C for a while, then it went down a few times. By morning, we were forecasted to hit 34C/93F, which we did hit. I don’t know what the humidex was. The forecasts for thundershowers tomorrow have shown up, disappeared, then showed up again, several times today! As I write this, it’s past 11pm, and we’re still at 28C/82F. The overnight low is expected to be not much cooler, but we are also supposed to get some rain, too.

I’ll believe that when I see it. From the looks of the weather radar, any rain or storms sweeping through are going to go right past us, and hit the city. But if we get even a little bit of rain, I will be happy. Even with all the watering we’ve been doing, twice a day, things are still really dry. I could really see that while weeding. Even at the start of the day, which the ground still looked damp from the previous evening’s watering. While hand weeding among the beets in the old kitchen garden, I had the hose set to mist, so the water would make it easier to pull the weeds out by the roots. I’d already watered the bed before I started weeding, yet when I pulled up the weeds, I could see how dry the soil still was.

When we build our permanent beds, having some sort of watering system would be very useful. We do have sprinklers we can use, but I’d rather have something less wasteful, like a drip system.

But that is something to figure out later. For now, we make do with what we have, and right now, that means watering twice a day with roughly 300 feet of garden hose and watering cans! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden: we have silk! and loving the new tool

    • Thanks!

      For all that the heat wave we’re under right now is a problem for us humans, our gardens are loving it!

      Hot or cold, it’s amazing how resilient they can be!

      Like

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