I’m learning about two things for the vegetable garden: non-chemical bug spray and budget drip irrigation.
What’s non-chemical bug spray you ask? Spray that keeps the bugs off my plants without poisoning me (or the bugs, for that matter.) The current leader: a bit of dishsoap with a lot of water. The diluted soap doesn’t hurt the plants, keeps more of the plant-eating bugs off, and rinses off when I want to eat the lettuce, tomatoes, or squash. Variations and exact formulas for non-toxic bug sprays abound; I might try infusing garlic or cayenne pepper for even more bug-repellent power. It’s only effective until it rains, and maybe it’s not quite as effective as seriously toxic agri-business pesticides. But part of the point is to eat less poison, so 50 pesticide-free tomatoes is better than 65 on which I’ve used things with serious warning labels.
Lots of places will sell me kits for drip irrigation. I don’t mind watering the plants daily, but the tomatoes can get a bit wilted by late afternoon of hot summer days. I’m currently messing around with poking a couple of holes in water bottles with pushpins. We’ll see how that goes.