Skip to main content

Garden update - March 2014

We had no rain in February and more hot temperatures, so the soil is really drying out.  Wet season?  What wet season?  We have barely any grass in the paddock and even with all our grey water going on the garden, it is struggling.  Half way through the month I rearranged the garden so that only about of a third of it needed to be watered, which has helped that area to do better, and the rest is left to whither.  Its always tough to prioritise the plants and its interesting to see which are doing well regardless of the weather.  The kale, the marigolds, the basil and the pickling cucumbers seem to be particularly hardy.

The harvest basket is a bit limited again this month, two giant cucumbers (already pickling in a jar), lots of chillies, silver beet, kale, a tromboncino that grew after January's rain, a gem squash, one tomato and some tiny beans.

This is the lucky corner that is getting watered - I found more lace curtains too.  All the herb pots are down this end, with the choko, tomatoes under the curtain, with rosellas and capsicum.  Lemon and lime tree in pots, cucumber, beans and tromboncino are on the fence behind this photo.

The big kale "trees" are also to be watered, they are so productive.

And another little corner of jacaranda trees raised from little seedlings, nearly ready to plant out... more cucumber and table squash under the curtain and basil out in he garden bed.  Further over is the sweet potato bed that I also want to keep going if possible.

And the unfortunate neglected are of the garden which will not be getting any water, nasturtium, chilli bushes and giant brocolli plants, they may survive, otherwise we start again...  The galangal seems be doing well, so it will just get some occasional water.

And what happens to half my beans?  The chickens have found them and I just get the top after they nip off the rest!

If only we could eat marigolds!  They seem to be thriving!

The pickling cucumber seems to do ok too, we just have to find them before they get huge.

The arrowroot is flowering and looking a little ragged, I don't water it.

Jobs for this month:
  • Hope for rain
  • Harvest what we can
  • Don't plant anything new until it rains
  • Keep rearranging, digging holes to drain into the soil, adding compost and mulch, finding sacks and curtains for shade and generally trying to make the most of the water we have to keep the important plants alive
  • Hope for rain... 
 How was your February?  What are your garden plans for March?


  1. Oh all the rain is up here! will send some down if I can :)

  2. Oh, my gosh - bless your heart. I know it's been so dry where you are at. I don't know about you, but I get tons of anxiety when things get super dry.
    But I live in the NW of the US and we are downright S-O-G-G-Y. Rain, rain all the time. If I could send one of my continually overflowing rain barrels to you, girl, I totally would.
    I will hope for rain for you, too.

  3. I am in the same position and the ground is very dry. I have given all my fruit trees 1 good drink each but that is all they will get. My arrowroot is looking very sad too and the cows are getting hay to supplement the poor quality dead grass they have to eat. We got a few showers today but it barely wet the ground.

  4. Marigolds are edible...supposedly offer a citrusy flavor to salads, and can be used as a substitute for saffron.

  5. I am glad to see your pumpkin plants wilted like mine, its been really tough this past month. Lets hope you get some respite soon. I have found that our kale is one of the hardest things in our veggie patch not needing water and just coping with the conditions.

  6. I'm hoping for rain for you! Love the lace curtains, far prettier than the Pocahontas sheets I used during our recent heatwaves. For us in Adelaide the hardiest plants have been the watermelons and pumpkins; they were watered only occasionally while the rest of the veggies were watered constantly.

  7. Well, here in Northern NSW, not far from you, it is much the same. We get showers on and off but just enough to green up the paddocks a little, no runoff for the dams. I have hardly watered the vegies at all since late last year when, hearing of a hot dry summer, I decided to just see what would survive without watering. All vegies had been well watered during spring and planted in plenty of compost and I only watered the leeks which were seedlings which were ready to get planted out. The silver beet, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, and ginger and tumeric are going very well still, as are the leeks which are hardy anyway. Silver beet had the usual cabbage moths earlier on but new leaves have been fine. Thanks to a dicky knee I am not able to spread compost as yet so am just leaving the beds to cope until any rain comes. When I do the washing, all the sudsy water goes on the fruit trees and the rinse water goes on the broms and ferns etc., around the house. They cost the most to replace so they get some water first. I spend my garden time just weeding, weeding, brushcutting, weeding, etc.etc. Thankfully we have enough feed for our 8 cows but whenever it starts to look bad, we will be selling them whilst they are still in good condition. I really hope it doesn't come to that as I enjoy having our girls. Fortunately, we are hobby farmers living off our super so our livelihood does not depend on getting rain. Nothing we can do about it except wait and wish. Good luck to you. Joy


Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at

Popular posts from this blog

The new Eight Acres website is live!

Very soon this blogspot address will automatically redirect to the new Eight Acres site, but in the meantime, you can check it out here.  You will find all my soaps, ebooks and beeswax/honey products there, as well as the blog (needs a tidy up, but its all there!).  I will be gradually updating all my social media links and updating and sharing blog posts over the next few months.  I'm very excited to share this new website with you!

Chicken tractor guest post

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about chickens, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Tanya from Lovely Greens invited me to write a guest post on chicken tractors for her blog.  I can't believe how many page views I get for chicken tractors, they seem to be a real area of interest and I hope that the information on my blog has helped people.  I find that when I use something everyday, I forget the details that other people may not be aware of, so in this post for Tanya, I tried to just write everything I could think of that I haven't covered in previous posts.  I tried to explain everything we do and why, so that people in other locations and situations can figure out how best to use chicken tractors with their own chickens.

If you want to read more about chicken tractors, head over the Tanya's blog and read my post, then come back here to leave a comment.  Tanya lives…

Worm farm maintenance

I have had the worm farm for over a year now, and I have to say it’s the easiest and most convenient way I have found to make compost and to dispose of vege scraps and other organic waste. I have not had much success with putting everything in a compost bin, I find that the food scraps go all sloppy and don’t really compost properly. I have found that my current system works much better, all food scraps go to the worms and the compost bin is for weeds and manure. The worms are able to eat all our food scraps and convert it to compost and worm tea, and there is still plenty for the compost bin, but now its not full of sloppy food scraps. People often ask if its necessary or possible to have both a worm farm and a compost bin, and I think it actually works better for us.

The worm farm really requires very little maintenance.  All I have to do is tip in more food scraps every few days, drain the tea once a week or so, check that the top tray is damp (if not, tip in half a bucket of …