Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Landscaper's Check-up Yesterday

The landscape company sent Trevor, a foreman, and a worker over to repair the (small) damage to the gravel area that was caused by the earlier leak and to look at a few problems. They added more emitters to the fig tree and I think it will get trough the summer now. They re-buried some of the netafim inline drip tubes in West raised bed and looked at all the raised beds.

I had already increased the watering but we decided that the raised beds needed even more so we increased the duration and put it on daily. After a few days I'm going to cut it back to MWF schedule, once the beds are more evenly damp. In the middle bed especially they recommended watering from the top for a while to get a wicking effect going. The netafim in that bed has sunk to about 8 inches below the soil from the natural settling plus we added more fine mulch a couple months ago.

I had been top watering but had mostly given up on that bed which just wasn't doing well. But yesterday I did plant some transplants there - a couple more eggplants and a couple of cantaloupes.

Although I've had a few difficulties with the landscape installation, it's great that they are providing on-going support. And I like dealing with a company that seems to treat it employees well. I went way over budget on the installation, but I knew the cost in advance and it was my decision.

The only big thing I would change at this point if I had it to do over is that I would have used stacked blocks/stones/urbancrete instead of traditional mortared block walls for the raised planters and the barriers for the orchard. Actually I had planned to have urbancrete (their term for recycled broken concrete) but the time frame for building was narrow and we did not find a supply right then. I should have stockpiled some earlier. More importantly, I should not have been is such a hurry. I really wanted to plant fall/winter crops (greens!) last year. I did not realize I would not be able to plant right away anyway because the fill was too hot! Oh well.

I do like the layout and I am think about how to provide shade. I will probably plant at last one more deciduous tree for summer shade in back. Desert trees are good for filtering the sun, whereas elms and the like can provide too much shade. But I'm still thinking on this because I also want an apple tree. Anyway I will need some sort of shade structure in the meantime, I think.

No comments: