(Re-posted from my original blog on Blogger). My string beans have finally come in! They are our first vegetables grown from seeds to flower and fruit this season. They come in as sets so I can only pick a small handful at a time. The bean plants are neat – the leaves are huge, but the plants were sneaky when flowering because I didn’t notice until there were actual string beans! From what I have read you need to harvest before the seed pods get too large, and often to promote more fruiting. I hope to make a salad with beans and also a side dish when enough get picked. The sooner after you pick the beans is better for eating because the beans will still be nice and crisp.
In general, it seems as though much of the garden plants grow better and tend to have less disease problems if you use a soaker hose. This is because the water is going directly onto the soil and thus, the roots, rather than the leaves which would promote disease. I mentioned the new watering set up in my last post, but want to give a little more detail here. Nate ordered about 50 feet of the soaker hose from Amazon (where else?!). For those of you that don’t know, this type of hose is black and once hooked up to water will drip out at a pretty slow but steady rate. Perfect for watering plants. We ended up cutting the hose in a few places so that they could be hooked up to a regular hose (with connectors) and snake around both the tiered raised garden on the deck as well as the two square foot gardens on the ground next to the deck.
The hose is on a timer and I tried out several different lengths of time for the water to be turned on in order to promote the best soil dampness. Right now the timer has been set to go off once a day in the evening, as the sun goes down and the temperature starts to cool, for 20 minutes. This may change depending upon how hot this summer will be. The timer also has a nice feature where you can delay a watering for 24 hours if we would get a nice rain or storm. The other nice thing is that you don’t have to worry about watering your plants when you go on vacation as we did last week. It seems like it’s been a great set up so far and I like that I can be more relaxed and almost lazy in taking care of the watering. Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of work, because believe me there certainly is! But, it is very nice to not worry about watering every day.
I am making mental notes about what I would change for next year’s gardens and I think one would be to make sure that my bushier plants gets thinned a little more so that they have more space.