Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Irrigation Update

A few more years of working with irrigation have lead me to this conclusion:

Compresson tees w/hose fitting plus tape adapter

Compression tees w/hose fitting plus tape adapter

Don’t use these compression tees to assemble your system. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but they take a lot more labor to install than the barbed fittings.    The header tubing has to be cut to lengths, and each tee has to be forced onto a length on each side, which takes time and hand strength.  Then you have to have a second fitting to join the drip tape to the tees.

An easier way?

An easier way

Much better, in my opinion, are the barbed fittings.  You just punch a hole in the header tubing and push the barb into it.  The drip tape attaches right to the other end of the fitting and it’s done.  No cutting and very little forcing.  Very fast.  Cheaper, too.

If you need to change the layout the following year, just buy a new roll of header tubing (100′ = about $15) and punch new holes.  It’s a lot better than having to pull all the tees off, cut new lengths, and push the tees back on.  If there are only a few  changes, you can put goof plugs in the old holes and punch new ones.

So, anyone want to buy a bunch of tees?


Blue and Gold

I have a real fondness for blue and yellow. It probably goes back to my days as a Cub Scout.  I had the shirt, the cap, and the yellow neckerchief with a brass slider.  At the end of the year we had the Blue and Gold Banquet where we got the badges that we had earned. It was a tremendously big deal. I try to remember how it was then when I’m dealing with my grand kids now.


The day lily is one that I believe was bred locally.

New Flower Bed 5

I’m pretty happy with how the new bed is looking now.  Most everything is blooming.


You can’t say it’s not colorful.



Annie had to get into the picture.




Lilies, yarrow, and liatris.


Not a pretty photo maybe, but you can see the basic layout.  The mixture of grass and weeds that makes up our “lawn” over here has been suffering from a lack of rain.


From an upstairs window.

All in all, I think it’s OK for the first year, but I’ve left myself some room for improvement.

A Small Setback

I haven’t posted in a while, but it’s OK.  I have a note from my doctor.



My heart decided to attack me on Memorial Day weekend.  I thought I had been being pretty good to it, but it begged to differ.  Everything else was suddenly shoved to the back burner while I (1) enjoyed hospital food, (2) quaked in fear, (3) rested a lot at home, and (4) tried to figure out what to do so I wouldn’t ever get another one.


The weeds saw their opportunity and moved in.

It’s disheartening to see, but philosophically only a minor blip in the game of life, I suppose.

Got Spring?

It may be 21 degrees F right now, but it must be spring if there are baby plants in the greenhouse.

There are dianthus, trachelium, and digitalis basking in the sunlight this morning, with lobelia, millet, asclepias, and rudbeckia still under lights in the basement.  There’s no heat in the greenhouse, so these little guys will be brought back inside this evening, and every evening for quite a while.

It’s easy so far, with only 17 trays going, but in another month I’ll be swimming in plants.  I’ll also be in Seattle for a week, and I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get the plants cared for when I’m gone.  I may put them in my hoophouse and cover them with a couple of layers of row cover.  Then I can probably get a friendly neighbor or relative to water them a couple of times.

So yes, I’d say we have spring.

It Needed a Switch

After using my newly made vibrating seeder for the first time I was convinced that it would be easier to control the seeds if it had an on-off switch.  One trip to Radio Shack and a little cobbling and soldering gave me this.

Seeder with switch.

If you would like to see more details of adding the switch than most people will ever want, I’ve updated my how-I-built-it page at My Homemade Vibrating Seeder

Uh Oh, Wind.

The windstorm that hit the midwest yesterday did a number on the poor hoophouse.



The plastic is blown off, but I didn’t see a lot of rippage, so maybe I’ll be able to repair it.  Hope so, anyway.  I think the plastic was about $160.