Sunday, June 29, 2014

PV-powered automatic watering system installed

I bought a 12V dc timer and a 15watt dc pump (that moves water nicely!) for an off-grid, automatic watering solution.  Like last year, I used an old hose with holes drilled in it, except the holes didn't line up exactly with this year's crops, but it's working OK. I think the pump and timer ended up costing $30 on Amazon.  They work great!

I changed the hops trellis for easier harvest

Last year I used stainless steel cable for the vines to climb.  My thinking was that they would last forever out in the elements.  What I didn't anticipate was how long it would take to pull the vines off at harvest.

This year I strung up some cotton clothes line.  At the end of the season I will just cut it down and throw it away, then replace next year.
Update 8/26:  The cotton lines worked great.  The vines climbed easily, they held strong and when harvest time came I had them all down and onto the patio in about 10 minutes.  I just cut the lines and hacked the vines at the top with a machete.  

Some greenhouse crops in action

Here is what I have growing today:

Some neck pumpkins

Chinese giant noodle bean

 Assorted chile pappers

A green pepper that is now over 2 feet tall!

Cherry tomatoes are thriving in greenhouse

Once I got the aphids under control, The cherry tomatoes really took off.  The Black Krims (right side) are much more stunted and have no new fruit.  You can see how I have trimmed the lower vines to stay out of the way when I walk under.  I also get rid of new shoots on the lower vine.