Here I am again, writing about the hot, dry weather and how we would love, love, love more rain. We got about 0.3 inches on Wednesday, and that was AWESOME. If that could happen every other day for the rest of the month, we could breathe a sigh of relief.
Instead, we are scratching our heads about how to give the plants enough water. We have to irrigate any plants in high tunnels (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.) because they don't get rained on - but this year, we are having to irrigate just about everything outside as well. There is a noticeable different between the vigor of plants that have been irrigated and the ones that haven't.
We normally irrigate cucurbits (squash, zucchini, melons) and sweet potatoes because they do much better if they get regular water. We set up drip tape (same idea as a soaker hose), which is slow but conserves water and leave it connected for the whole season. This year we are trying to make sure we irrigate not only those crops, but pretty much every single crop that goes into the ground. It's easy for the plants to get transplant shock from the hot, dry soil, so we use overhead sprinklers to pre-soak the bed and to water them in for a few days after transplanting (see the sprinkler system below).
It's not quite so dire as I might make it sound. Lots of things are doing very well! We have tons of garlic scapes this week, for example! We recommend tossing them in olive oil and salt and grilling for a couple minutes each side. They get crispy on the outside and super tender on the inside.
See you at market!