Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2005
Regional Report

Tool or Gardening Product

"Leaky Pipe" Soaker Hoses
I've bought just about every kind of irrigation tool, and ultimately depend on my soaker hoses that are made of recycled rubber and perform like leaky pipe, exuding water droplets along their entire surface. By burying them under mulch, the water will drip down into the soil and not evaporate. (Of course, I must fish around in the mulch when I anticipate digging nearby, to avoid puncturing it!)

Clever Gardening Technique

Making a Rack to Dry Fruits and Veggies
Dry cut fruit and vegetables outdoors with a "sandwich" rack and cheesecloth. Use two cake-cooling racks. Cover one with a single layer of cheesecloth, making sure it drapes at least 2 inches beyond the fruit or vegetables. Place cut fruit or vegetables on the rack, each piece at least half an inch from another piece. Cover with another layer of cheesecloth. Place the other cake rack on top. Place the whole "sandwich" in the sun, making sure the cheesecloth drapes so insects have no access. Turn the whole "sandwich" over after several hours. Bring it in at night so nighttime moisture isn't reabsorbed. Continue the procedure every day until produce is dry but still pliable.

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