Monday, January 19, 2009

Rain, rain, rain, nope

Battle gear ready.
The extent we go to for our gardens seems extreme some times, this is me just before I go out to attack the lucerne mulch hay with the mulcher (see post 'This mans best friend #2') just so my lettuce, beans and silverbeet can have a luxurious time growing in my garden.

I'm hoping (they had better) they appreciate the effort I've gone to and grow up into happy and healthy plants so I can extract my revenge by eating them. (insert slightly deranged laughter here).

But slightly serious seriously, when you do anything with a dried mulch product, especially a moldy one, you should make an effort to look after yourself, so on goes the silver breathing mask and hat that makes me look Darth Vader's trendy half brother.

See the resemblance? I can even talk like him after a night on the town.

May the organic force be with you.

We still can't get any rain around here and I've got to say I'm feeling a bit resentful towards the garden for being so needy in the watering department.

Meet my watering strategy. I call them B1 andB2 after Bill and Ben from Bill and Ben the flower pot men. I fill them up from my rain water tank and walk to where ever I have to water, which on a hot day can be up to 3 hours of walking and watering.
It also means there are a lot of other jobs around the place can't be done because all my spare time is taken up with watering.

We haven't had any dam filling rain here in our catchment area since 2001 and our total combined stored capacity in our dams is down to less than 10%. We are currently on level 5 water restrictions which means not being allowed to use the town water supplies for any external use.

Most plants needed watering daily and some (lettuce and silverbeet) twice daily.
It has cooled though, from the plus 30 degree temps of late last week to high twenty's, but talk about your proverbial sponge. It just seemed liked I couldn't put enough water on the garden to keep everything going.
The forecast is for showers from the middle of the week so I'm, once again, hopeful of some respite.

I'd also like some moisture in the soil so as I can continue planting for the up coming Autumn and winter.
Anyhow I'm off to water the garden and mulch the garden and plant in the garden and....


Scarecrow said...

Wow Stewart I didn't realise your area was still so dry. We get used to dry over here! Sounds like you should try some Wicking Beds

Isn't it dreary watering by hand...would it be possible to attach a hose to the tank? I've done that here (with black poly pipe) and put those inline taps on to bring the water closer to where it needs to be.
In fact I have the tankwater piped all round the place and into the shadehouses...but I'm just too lazy to do all that walking.
We have a gentle slope here so gravity helps.
Of course a bit of rain to fill those tanks would be lovely too!

Good to see the PPE in use. ;)

Cathode said...

I never used to realise just how dangerous potting mixes and mulches were until last November. Aunty F's friend lost a hand and Uncle C's friend lost a foot from some bug picked up handling potting mix without gloves and a mask.

Scary stuff.

Anonymous said...

DEspite getting reasonable rainfall until mid December, we are cracking dry already in Tassie. I am amazed at how quickly the ground dries out. We dug our spuds and the soil was bone dry and powdery to a depth of about 15 inches. So there is no 'ideal' climate I'm afraid - we have the hoses and watering cans out to water too. Like your Bill and Ben - I remember it well. We have a little cart/wheelbarrow thingie we call the Tellie Tubby. Sad isn't it..........

The Conservative Gardener said...

You guys are making me thirsty!

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Very good Stewart! You made me laugh- At least your sure to get your exercise, right?

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Haaha...Yes I do see the resemblance Stewart and I can hear Darth Vader's voice when I read the post. Is the Lucerne particulary good mulch?
Hope you will get some rain soon, it is such a time consuming job to do the watering.

Take care/ Tyra

Stewart said...

Hi Scarecrow, my tank is on the low side of my block, I'm saving for a pressure pump so as to make things easier.
I've looked at the wicking beds I just don't think they would be practical on my block, I'll just keep pouring in the organic matter to improve the soils water holding capacity.
And yes it's dreary watering by hand.

Hi cathode,that sounds rough for your aunty and uncle's friends.

Hi Cosmic & Co,
Tellie Tubby. Sad isn't it.... LOL
Sorry to hear it's so dry in Tassie.
I did hear once that of all the capital cities, Hobart has the lowest rainfall.

Hi Tessa, yes plenty of exercise. It's all up hill as well.

Hi TyraGlad you enjoyed Darth Vader.

Q. Is the Lucerne a particularly good mulch?
A. Yes. I like to use lucerne mulch because it's fairly coarse and allows water to flow through it to the soil easily but at the same time holds the moisture in rather well, also being a legume it does add some nutrient value to the soil.
It also breaks down well adding humus and organic matter to the soil profile.

Anonymous said...

Your garden sounds like ours. Thristy. Have you seen the weather predicter on elders.... yep that wet stuff is apparently coming?
(I won't say anymore incase I scare it off ;-) )

Daphne said...

That sounds like a lot of work. I'd probably hook up a drip system. Our climate is the opposite. We tend to be wet so our battle is the mildew that takes over.

Stewart said...

Hi Daphne, we are on severe watering restrictions here and aren't permitted to use the town water supply. I'm currently saving for a small pressure pump that I hope will alleviate some of my watering issues.