RECENT WEEKS OF HARDLY ANY RAIN REQUIRES CREATIVE WAYS TO WATER – SECOND WEEK IN MAY 2011

Little or no rain over the last four weeks has been a mixed blessing. Slugs have been unable to travel any distance as the soil is dry on the surface. Also rates of germination of seed and growth of plants are impressive. The weed seeds are germinating too, which is why my new swivel headed hoe is poised ready inside the shed door to scuff any bare soil at any opportunity.

Where I have had grass clippings available, these are used under raspberry and blackcurrant bushes to suppress weed growth and critically in this weather, prevent evaporation of moisture from the soil.

With fresh water supplies worldwide unable to meet the needs of humanity, it feels right to save dishwater and vegetable washing water in a bucket under the kitchen sink, and then use this ‘grey water’ to irrigate the kitchen garden. The apple tree, which has apples now forming, and the blossoming raspberry canes are the plants which benefit most from the bucketfuls which are thrown almost from the back door.

The younger plants of peas, broccoli, lettuce and carrots etc, are in need of a gentler watering regime. I have taken to shoving upturned PET plastic bottles with bottom discs cut off, just beside the plant or plants which cannot be allowed to dry out. I find if a hole is made first using a dibber, then the up-turned bottles are easier to secure and then fill with water from a watering can. This means the water percolates around the roots of the sun flower etc, and little or none evaporates.

These up-turned large mineral bottle are good for the garden to almost self-water if the gardener is taking a few days off in high summer. The slow percolation of water when poured into each bottle is I think better than splashing the dry soil with a watering can or a hose – but at this rate of drought a hose ban order would not be a surprise.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. A very interesting post Trevor, it just shows how different the climate is across our small country. Down here in Cork, we’re just recovering from a week of torrential rain and wind so strong it took down two willow trees in the garden and tossed over my plastic greenhouse costing me half my seedlings!

    Reply

    • Dear Peter,

      Thanks for letting me know about that contrast in our weather patterns recently. You have had it rough there. Hope youn have a luckier run from now on.

      Good growing,

      Trevor

      Reply

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