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?


Comments

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  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

    ReplyDelete

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 gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Native bee hotel

Like I wrote back here, native pollinators are as important (if not more important) than honey bees for pollinating crops and native plants.  There are a few things you can do to attract native pollinators to your garden:

Grow flowers and let your veges flower to feed the pollinators all yearHave a source of insect-friendly water in the garden (shallow dishes are best)Provide somewhere for them to live/nest/lay eggs - a bee hotel! In Australia, our native pollinators consist of both stingless native bees, which live in a colony like honey bees, and lots of solitary bees and wasps.  These solitary insects are just looking for a suitable hole to lay their eggs.  You may be familiar with these in sub-tropical and tropical areas, in summer you will find any and all holes, pipes and tubes around the house plugged with mud by what we call "mud daubers".  These area a real nuisance, so I'd rather provide some custom holes near the garden where they can live instead, so I don'…