Re: [gardeners] Bastrop county gardening

Allen Merten (
Thu, 16 Mar 2000 01:52:07 -0600

Hi Penny,
    Sorry to reply so late. I'll also answer the private messages tomorrow.
    1) I elevate my rows because normally we have quite a bit of rain during
the growing season. I can rake along the shoulders of the rows to open the
surface to air circulation, to prevent the roots from drowning, and to allow
oxygen to reach the roots.
    2) When the rain has not been sufficient, I can flood irrigate two rows
of plants at a time. I build dams out of dirt approximately 4 feet apart.
The water will flood to the top of the dam, break through and fill up the
next space until water flows over the top of that dam, and so on. It allows
the water to soak into the elevated portion of the row and also to soak down
into the soil under the elevated portion where the sun cannot evaporate it
as easily. This method keeps water off of the leaves so that fungus is not
encouraged, leaf burn from chlorine won't occur, and the sun won't scald the
wet leaves, fruit, etc.
    3) you can cultivate the rows without damaging shallow rooted plants.
    4) Carrots and potatos have more room to develop
    5) deep rooted plants like squash, cucumbers, etc. have more depth to
grow into.
    6) it encourages the roots to grow deeper
    7) Texas weather during the growing season is always one of too much
rain or too little.
    8) it was the way Grandpa and Dad did it.
    I am making the rows about half the height that I normally like to have,
simply because of the drought that is predicted to occur again this year.
    Bastrop Co., SE Central Tx.
    Zone 8
    I use soaker hoses also. I don't have enough soaker hoses to water 1/2
acre of garden divided into two separate plots. I can flood irrigate very
easily with out a lot of equipment other than a couple of garden hoses, hoes
and rakes. I use the soaker hoses on rows that may require more water than
plants on other rows.