Toad's Permaculture

Drip irrigation: After a one week vacation

So we left for vacation on Saturday, July 25, 2020. We came back just now- like magicians or in cars. Anyway, before we left we tried to find someone- anyone to water the plants that survived the first few months.

We realized some the week before that traffic cones can only be so helpful. We used something alternative later. Pictures to follow

Anyway, we have all these plants and we had no one to water my babies. Also I had just planted three blackberry bushes because I got them on sale. I am a sucker for a sale. We looked into many different systems but we decided that the easiest cheapest way was to use our old buckets and collect tidy cat buckets in order to set up drip irrigation.

We are not perfect people and this wasn’t even the ending amoung

Not going to lie, we were throwing this mess together the night before because we had to collect the materials

Into the wee hours of the night. It gets dark later during the summer. It is clearly night time.

It took quite a bit of time. We were collecting materials until the night before we left. Driving to strangers houses and asking for their little boxes the week before- to make sure we had enough. Fun Fact: we still didnt have enough.

He worked hard and tirelessly in order to the best he could with minimum light.

Anyway, it worked (kind of it turns out our neighbors will filling the buckets twice a day), so we are 90% sure we did it wrong. We screwed a hole into each bucket and the water slowly dripped out. My Aunt went back to check on her cats, so she filled up my buckets for me mid week and I thought that everything was fine.

I thought that the drip irrigation was lasting, per white bucket, 4 days, the tidy cat’s around 3.

We woke up super early to make sure

The blue berries loved it, they were looking yellow before. I think we’ll keep the buckets for our blue berries because the leaves look a lot better. I think that is because of the rain water. We need rain water collection and just found out that I don’t need to be watering my plants with tap water.

One of my daughters carrying a bucket to fill by the plants the morning before we left.

Regardless we only lost one plant the entire week because of a team effort. Now my neighbor (who I had no idea was an irrigation specialist) wants to help us.

What our almost complete system looked like. It still wasn’t the best, but we tried.

He informed me that this was not going to work for our long term plans and how water is the bones of any yard. I would need to figure that out long before I started mass planting like I want to next year.

Our one dead tree. It was still watered but I am pretty sure it isn’t going to come back.

We are going to start working on that tomorrow. This has been one heck of a learning experience. Hoping for future success.

Mimsy, our bunny chaser 💚

Where I went wrong and right with my property

My pasture

Well, first let me say I had a general idea of what I wanted in the beginning. It was a rough guess but more like a daydream. I wanted to build this awesome thing but didn’t have a bit of information on how to do it. I decided I would just figure it out as I went.

I did zero research on my property I just knew it had this big huge tree and it had a wide open pasture so I wouldn’t have to clear anything. I do love that big tree, it was a major selling point.

For not buy property for a big tree.

So we put in our house and we starting messing with the dirt. I didn’t even check out the soil until I broke a shovel. That was when I realized that pasture land might have some cons. It does not hold water to save a life. The only things that survive are resilient and durable plants that are native- which did not follow my plan one hundred percent.

So, now I have this property that has been used to run cattle for over twenty years and I need to figure stuff out. Nitrogen levels are low. There is no water source. I did not look into these things before hand because I guessed natural rain would just magically make my plants live.

Still I was happy because look at that sunset 💚

I was still super excited and continued to fight the clay dirt. It was so tightly packed that we had to wet the ground before we tilled it. If we were using a shovel we had to use lots of water.

The garden was tilled and I added NOTHING. I just figured it’s broken up, the dirt will just fix itself. Again, I was hoping for some magic. I planted and watered and waited. We watered faithfully and very few plants sprouted. We planted over five hundred seeds, most didn’t germinate in my soil and the ones that did could not survive a few weeks.

The tree that sold me 💚

When nothing came up I was really upset, but i moved to perennials and raised beds. Now, I am planning for 2021. I will not be choosing another property, I’ll fix it, but now I know that plants don’t grow on hope. I really wish I had done more research.

The memorial marker under our tree that we found when we cleaned up the branches.

Dun dun dun: Little Flock Cemetary, LA

The beginning

So first let me say, hello and welcome to my adventure in turning my property into a Food forest by using the principles of many things. One of which is Permaculture. Let me first say: orginally I planted so much and spent too much on seeds just to watch it fail.

The beginnings of my herb garden

After that terrible start my eyes wandered to research. Lots of research which started the beginning of my herb garden, as shown above.

In the beginning… there was hope that everyone would survive

After failing so hard at first I really needed these raised beds to make it. So I worked a little too hard at them. It helped some plants thrive, others not so much.

So we decorated it a little bit and I learned late that some of this stuff bushes out bigger than I’ve allowed.

After lots of research. I decided that these experimental boxes would help me get my end game goals accomplished. They helped me out because I realized what I did wrong with my large garden that I had planned.

What my blueberry plants looked like before the birds came and ate them all.

I planted 26 plants this year that were perennial. Plenty of BlackBerry and blueberry bushes as well as a fig tree and other naturally occurring trees and shrubs.

What I gathered from the small herb garden I managed to grow after killing so many defenseless plants.

Honestly, even though some of my original plants died I got a lot out of it. I learned a lot and I think I want to expand that and share it. Who knows someone smarter might have a suggestion.

More beautiful sun things

Natural colors are the most beautiful

A few sunsets for your eye holes

A few pretty things for your eye holes