Debbie's Blog

Van Till Family Farm & Winery

Drip Irrigation Project

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Cliff Hooking up drip hose in Kitchen Hoop House

A frog on a lettuce leaf in the shade on a 95 degree summer day.

Shade cloth and regular watering with drip tape means sweet lettuce!

Today, Cliff is hooking up the drip irrigation for the Kitchen Hoop House where we have been growing lettuce for the salads and basil for the pesto sauce for the wood-fired oven pizza.  We have shade cloth stretched over the hoops that block 45 % of the sun.  The real test has been this last month, with daytime temps  in the 95-102 range and we have been growing lettuce the whole time!  We pick the outer leaves as they get to the size we want and leave the rest of the plant to grow.  This allows us to harvest the same lettuce plant over 4-6 weeks.  I have planted small lettuce plugs in between the lettuce plants that we are harvesting so that they can get established.  When we pull the older plants, then the smaller ones take off, keeping bare dirt to a minimum.  Growing lettuce during the middle of the summer has been quite challenging because it can get bitter rather fast.  But we are finding that growing under this shade cloth, with regular watering, we are harvesting sweet, succulent lettuce.

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