Sunday, 13 January 2008

Garden Log: 13 Jan 08

Milder weather saw the week begin,
a welcome relief albeit short lived
and by Wednesday temps were back to 36C
and Thursday 41C.

The strong winds that accompanied Friday's cool change blew away any chance of rain...back to watering. But a chance to do some work outside.

The base of the William Pear tree has been cleared and hoed to a dish, the run-off from the washing machine (via this set-up) will go here for a few washes, the area has been mulched with shredded paper.

I've put up some frames for the new Tomatoes in bed 4 and the Bed 1 Rockmelons have been lightly scuffled, fed and their mulch topped up.

I mentioned last week that not all in the garden was enjoying this continued heat. Indeed plants on the Edge Beds are suffering by only being watered once a week. My attention is focused on the vegetable beds to try and produce some food to show for all this effort of hand watering.
This has increased my determination to create more wicking beds as these are really looking after themselves, producing Zucchinis, a few beautiful Pumpkins, Blue Lake beans, some Tomatoes, Basil, Parsley, and a few Cucumbers. It won't be long and the corn should be ready as it's now flowering and Doc's gourds are beginning to set.

When conditions get this hot and dry I must make decisions as to what I can keep and hand water and what will just have to go or at least survive on only the once a week tap watering. This includes the Rhubarb (we have seven plants...too many for 2 of us) and the Comfrey growing between these plants.

I have chosen two Rhubarb clumps, mulched, added a shadecloth cover and a bottle waterer to them and what was left of the Comfrey has been dug up and potted up. What survives will be planted at the end of the plant table when we re-organise the propagating area. It will be shaded there and will receive the run-off water from the pots on the table.
That's the plan, but meanwhile it will live (I hope) on the floor of the shade house where another Comfrey piece is doing well after being re-located when one of the wicking beds was dug.

Another casualty is the little Valencia Orange's getting sunburnt in the heat. I've since put a sheet over it in the afternoons on these very hot days and the new growth underneath is looking better. I'll leave the sunburnt leaves on to help shade the rest of it.

On the positive side the Grapes (Black Sultanas) are safely ripening behind this curtain we put up recently.

The Mixed Capsicums on Bed 6 now have a 50% white shadecloth cover and are starting to set fruit, they've had a quick feeding of blood and bone with potash added.

We've had visits from the Ringnecked Parrots (and they weren't stealing fruit) and the arrival of a brand new garden helper (in fact we're getting quite a few of these right now!)

All the veg beds have shade now and most of it is 50% white or light green.


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