|Drip irrigation system perfect for ‘kitchen garden’ |
|Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:01 pm |
| By KEVIN BOWDEN |
Kenton entrepreneur Tim Brady has discovered a highly successful method for backyard gardening — drip irrigation.
Behind his home on East Union Grove Road, north of Kenton, Brady has 27 garden patches set up where he is growing tomatoes, grapes, a variety of beans, peppers, herbs, sweet potatoes, peanuts, okra, watermelon, peas, cantaloupes and green chilies.
A walk through his backyard garden reveals all his plants are loaded down with a bountiful harvest.
It’s an amazing sight considering this summer’s heat and dry conditions have wilted most backyard gardens in the area.
While other gardens are dying this summer, Brady’s is going strong.
About a year ago, Brady invested in a drip irrigation system, which has made all the difference.
Brady retired from a career as a truck driver in 2003 and he and his wife moved to their home north of Kenton. He began working on his backyard garden in 2004 and now his garden operation includes 27 different plots.
He said it was a year ago that he first experimented with drip irrigation in what he calls his “kitchen garden,” which is a small plot filled with herbs. It worked so well, he installed a drip irrigation system in 24 of his 27 garden patches.
The system consists of 350 feet of mainline and 1,860 feet of drip pipe woven through his plants. There are gauges that monitor the amount of water that flows through the plastic pipes, and Brady checks on his garden daily.
He normally returns to his kitchen with a bucket filled with brightly colored produce.
This summer’s harvest has not only been bountiful, but his produce has a really tasty flavor.
Brady’s tomatoes are sweet and juicy, his peppers are full and spicy and his grapes are bursting with flavor right off the vine. He has used some of his concord grapes to make a very tasty natural grape juice.
Other than some early preparation work on his garden plots, Brady said his garden is totally organic.
“It’s made a big difference in the harvest,” he said as he stepped gingerly through his garden.
The leaves on the vines are doing well despite the heat and he has an impressive array of bright red and yellow tomatoes ready for harvest. In fact, using the drip irrigation system will mean he will be picking fruits and vegetables from his garden well into the fall.
Brady estimates he has tripled his harvest due to the drip irrigation system.
He was instrumental in getting this summer’s Kenton Farmers Market started. He and his wife are regular vendors.
Published in The Messenger 7.19.12