Raised garden saves water and your back


Plants overloaded with chili peppers thrive in a Kingsburg backyard. Stan and Lise Ruiz grow everything from bell to Serrano and Italian peppers -- to the ridiculously hot "ghost chili."

"Now instead of bending over and hurting my back now I can harvest my crop just like this. There's no more weeding, no more tilling," said Stan Ruiz.

The peppers grow in a raised garden. They are watered from the base of individual pots using a drip system.

"All the water goes into the bottom so evaporation goes right to the roots verses Mother Nature and there's no water loss going into the soil," said Ruiz.

It used to take Stan four hours to water 64 plants in the ground using a water hose at full blast. Now a pressurized drip system does it in a flash.

"Now I can water these 96 plants in 3 minutes or less so it's a great savings on water, and Kingsburg being on water meters, I can save some money."

Ruiz uses Miracle Grow potting soil and an organic fertilizer to push his pepper production to new heights.

Stan could pick enough pecks of pickled peppers to fill 400 jars this year. But Stan also grows tomatoes, eggplant, squash and cucumbers. No need to hit the produce section at the store.

"We both love vegetables and it's such a joy to come out here and pick your product, bring it in the house, pick your fresh herbs, cook with it," said Lise Ruiz, Kingsburg.

Whenever friends and family visit, they start taking measurements and ask how to get started.

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