End of Season is Here Already

>> Sunday, October 17, 2010

You know the growing season here in Utah is winding down when the city turns off your access to secondary water. You see, here in Utah we refer to our water as either Domestic or Secondary. Domestic water is treated and plumbed into our homes and Secondary water (here at the south end of the valley) comes from Utah Lake, straight, totally adulterated. And it stinks. Smelly, I mean. You really don’t want this stuff in your house.

There are plans, and construction is under way, for a treatment plant large enough to treat both domestic and secondary water. Our water better be improved because our water rates went up a couple of years ago on the promise of ‘improving’ the quality of both water types.

I went out this morning to turn on my irrigation system and learned the water had been turned off for the season. We have a canal system that carries water from Utah Lake northwards to the Great Salt Lake. All along that canal, cities and towns are tapping into it to give the local residents access to water by which we irrigate our properties. As the end of season nears the secondary water begins to take on its characteristic odor of a polluted water system. The smell comes from bacteria that has been allowed to build up because the water is not treated.

Anyway, I began the process of winterizing my ‘system’ by disconnecting all three of my garden hoses from my battery powered timer. I don’t have underground tubing to distribute water so my plants depend on me to remember to move a DIY sprinkler system around the yard. I carry a kitchen timer around with me throughout the day when I water. This way of watering my garden plots and lawn becomes ‘tedious’ (yes, I believe that is the accurate term) near the end of the season. So I view this inevitable shutdown each year with both relief and sadness.

After disconnecting the garden hoses I need to run domestic water through them in an attempt to flush out any bacteria. I'm sure my method is far from 100% effective. If there was an efficient way in which I could run vinegar through them I would. Next, I drain the hoses as completely as possible and lay them out in the sun to soften them enough in order to roll them up and store them in one of the sheds over winter.

The plants that are coldframe bound, such as lettuce, radish, chard, etc need to depend on me to carry a watering can out to them filled with domestic water. I am getting better about this, I really am. Witnessing plants turn brown and wilt away creates a certain level of incentive to remember. I’m sure they appreciate finally being given the cleaner water. Since lettuce is made up of such a high percent of water, I appreciate the cleaner water too.

This whole process also triggers the annual purchase of winter mulch to help protect my charges with a temperature-stable environment in which to survive our sometimes harsh winters. Some sources I have consulted place my garden in zone 5. I can believe this assessment in winter. However, summer comes rolling around and I swear we have shifted to zone 8 or 9.

Now that the water has been turned off I can scratch off one more duty I need to remember to keep track of and begin thinking about regularly placing suet and peanut butter out for the birds. It’s always something.


Richmond Hill Lawn Care October 21, 2010 at 5:27 AM  

Hi, thank you for your great post. I really appreciate the efforts you have put in your blog .It is interesting and helpful. Good luck with it!!!
Richmond Hill Lawn Care

© 2007 -2011 - Utah Valley Gardens - All photos and content copyrighted by Utah Valley Gardens unless otherwise attributed. The use of photographs posted on this site without permission is forbidden and is protected by copyright law, as is all original text.

Blogger templates made by AllBlogTools.com

Back to TOP