The rats' destruction of the garden wasn't all bad; it did enable me to make some amendments to the raised beds that I should have taken care of before the plants went in, i.e., irrigation. Should have been a top priority seeings as we are dry as dead leaf come summertime.
My dream was to purchase a slew of ollas from the Dervaes family this year, but financially we couldn't swing it with all the other backyard costs. I decided to go super low tech with the plastic milk jugs I have been saving. Basically I took all the containers
and used a push pin to poke a load of holes in them with a fervor I might use to stick a voodoo doll of Dick Cheney. The little pin was easy to get through the plastic, which enabled me to finish all seven jugs in under 10 minutes. (If they would have been voodoo dolls, Dick would have certainly met his demise. Muuuuahahahahah!!!) I then buried the containers about three feet apart in the veggie beds.
For some reason I thought that the earth pressing against the jugs would slow the water drainage down and I grossly overestimated the number of holes that I needed. After I filled the bottles, the water ran out faster than it took to fill them. Crap. Not what I was hoping to achieve here. I guess next time I won't get so zealous with the push pin.
That's the cool thing about the clay ollas, they slowly release water through their walls, which encourages the roots of plants to hug the sides of the pot and suck up all the moisture. Maybe I'll pick some up the next time we are in SoCal.