Garden tips: watering, weeding and saving plants and seeds

Watering in rows
Watering in rows

This morning I had set aside to work on my Sunday message. As all good procrastinators do, I found a better, more interesting task. I decided to hand water and weed the garden. I set up the watering to go in trenches by digging long rows with a hoe beside each growing row. Mostly the water followed as I intended. A few times I had to go back and retrench, but it was a little more conservative than running a sprinkler on the entire plot, especially since there is so much area left unplanted this year. The only positive about this drought we have been experiencing is the fact that the weeds are not able to over run the place like they normally do. It also helped that James did some tilling with the little hand tiller a week ago. Today I started by taking the large tree clipper and going after the huge weeds on the east side of the fence and in the middle of the sunflowers.

Full of weeds!
Full of weeds!

There weren’t as many as I had thought, but they filled the entire wheel barrel when I was finished collecting everything. I was excited about how nice it now looks that I have cleaned out the area right on the edge where the carrots are growing. We didn’t get a great crop of anything this year, but mostly we planted left over seeds or some we took off plants from last year or a few years ago. I don’t do that for many crops, but zucchini and other vines (except cucumbers) seem to be good candidates for that plan. Years ago I would even save tomato seeds and start them on my own, but not so much, though I do find taking seeds from peppers works better sometimes than those you purchase, especially if you are after the colored kind. I can get yellow, orange and purple much easier from old saved seeds than from purchased. Don’t ask me why, it just works that way for me. I see lots of ideas on various websites about the proper way to harvest and save seeds. I have always just taken them from the fruit, washed them a bit and laid them out on a paper towel to dry. I find the best place to store them is in an envelope. Usually I take one that some bill came in so that I am recycling. I almost always store them in the attached car shed which is warmer than an unattached shed, but getting cold hasn’t ever seemed to be the difference. The only thing I don’t do is store them where it is damp or warm. Doing that gets you moldy seeds or early germination.

Peppers in their holders.
Peppers in their holders.

One last picture for you. I got to thinking about the wind we had last night. (See my lucindalines site to check the damage on the willow tree.) It occurred to me that the pepper plants are just about right to get broken off. I noticed that 23 August of 2015, I had a post about how the wind had ripped up things around here. Well, here was proof that the older you get you begin to forget some of the things you knew to be tried and true. So I kept thinking that I should grab some of the unused tomato cages to prop up the peppers. After I struggled getting two of the cages in place nearly breaking off my best plants, it hit me that a half a tomato cage would make more sense because you could put the wire pole against the pepper stem. Oh Duh! I did that last year, so where are those cages we split? Well, I found them and drug them to the garden and now the peppers are all secured beside their new “best friends” the pepper holders. Hope you can see the picture ok. We took wire cutters and made three pepper holders from each old tomato cage. You have to cut the wire mid-way between each of the posts. This is all part of the stingy gardening plan to use what you have before you go out and buy something new. Well, hope your gardening is going well, and hope you found something here worth a try. Happy Gardening to You!!

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