Tri River Area CSU Extension - To provide information, education and to encourage the application of research-based knowledge to the communities of Delta, Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray Counties.

May 13th – What’s been going on all Month Long?

It’s been a month, and yes I’m still working from home…but while at home I’ve taken to gardening! Let me show you a little bit of what’s happening around the yard!

Top Photo: This spring, I was privileged to have a family member help build a raised garden bed. Now usually, they aren’t this wide, but I am a big garden fan and wanted a lot of room; plus I’m not afraid to get a little dirty when it comes to harvest time.

Bottom Left Photo: Strawberry Patch! Because who doesn’t want fresh strawberries in the middle of June?

Bottom Right Photo: Hydro-buckets! This fun science experiment uses the wicking ability of water (Wick means to travel against the flow of gravity) to keep the bucket planted plants hydrated for longer periods of time. It’s cheap to do and saves on water and time!

The process is pretty simple. Materials I used for each plant included:

  • (1) 5 gal bucket
  • 1 recycled lidded coffee container (30oz)
  • 2 ft of water line (but you can use old hose or PVC as well!)
  • Duct tape
  • A drill
  • Soil mix
  • Plant of choice (I used tomato starts)

  1. You start with your coffee container, drilling several very small diameter holes around the lower base. This will serve as a water well.
  2. Then measure the width of your piping/hose and drill a hole slightly smaller through the lid of your coffee can. You want the piping to fit very snugly through the coffee lid.
  3. Measure enough piping to reach from the base of the 5gal bucket to about 6 inches out of the top of the bucket; make the cut. This is your well refill hose.
  4. Duct tape the coffee lid to the coffee container for a tight seal (so the lid will not pop off when filled with water).
  5. Place the hose into the coffee container through the pre-cut hole in the lid and tape around that joint for an air tight seal. This becomes your finished watering device.
  6. Place your watering device into the 5gal bucket and fill around tightly with potting soil.
  7. Plant your starter plant near the top adding more potting soil as needed.
  8. With the hose on low, fill up your watering device through the projecting hose spout.
  9. All done! Check on the plant the first few days with a finger test to make sure water is leaching out and wicking up to the roots.!

Pretty neat! I started 3 tomato plants and 4 jalapeno plants in my buckets and I think I’ll expand this project next year!

HINT: I started this project back in March. The buckets made it easier to transport inside at night to avoid the frosty air.

In addition to these, I’ve also got my melons, squash, and cucumbers springing up; I’m experimenting with trying to grow broccoli and cauliflower, and my herbs are in their basins and slowly germinating.

HOWEVER!!!!! I’m already starting to have a real PEST PROBLEM….

But…At least it’s a cute one!

Here’s to May and the sweet garden yummy’s that lay ahead!

If YOU have a garden going, I’d love to see photos! Add them below in the comments or on our Facebook page – STEM/k12 Programs – TRA Extension.

Keep on STEMin ya’ll!

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