The Big Dry

flower pp.png

I have not spent much time in the garden, aside from the morning and afternoon check and water.

The days have been warm. Almost a heat-wave you could say for the last week or so. It has me pondering over the complete inadequacy of the soil to retain moisture at the moment. Slowly I am ‘closing down’ the garden and reducing the area that requires watering.

The spectacle that was the late spring garden is now already transforming to browns and tans. The flowers are either fading and wilting or only just starting to bloom which gives splotches of bright colour to the green and brown garden beds.

Insects are swarming. Tiny, miniscule bugs, hoverflies, ants, spiders.

The potted plants just out from the back door are thriving. Adding to the complexity of my eagerness to get them into the ground and growing in deep, supportive soil.

Bullfrog is well entrenched into his new oasis and water garden.

I have been picking small gifts from the garden of zucchini, cherry tomatoes, lettuce leaves, apricots, dahlia flowers for the kitchen table, an assortment of seeds that have been dried well by the sun and make processing easy.

The potatoes up the back are thriving and don’t even have a single 28 Spotted Beetle on them. They are strong and healthy and though they have wilted a little by the afternoons, they have held up with a little extra water in the mornings to keep their hilled soil moist through.

The mighty Cardoons have begun to flower, though they are feeling the dry and are already looking a little old and woody. Perhaps it will give them the compulsion to flower well and set seed sooner.

Holes are appearing in the soil amongst the second raised bed. Quite decent holes too. I am not surprised as it was a burial ground of sticks and small logs, scrap paper and cloth. There is also a fair bit of activity under the soil on behalf of the King Skinks. I am not sure what impact the Bandicoot is having but it certainly digs around in places.

Even though the garden had a thorough drenching during winter with our grey water, I suspect it is dry through quite deep. I perhaps should dig down a little to see how much moisture is being held. If the smaller raised garden is anything to go by – it is thoroughly dry, sandy and pretty well gutless after the last of the winter  crops have been pulled out.

sand ppI took the above photo which highlights the hydrophobic quality of the sand. This is an area of the garden bed that has been planted out for the last two years. The underlying sand eventually becomes exposed and when dry simply allows the water to bead and then run, eventually pooling into little areas like in the photo. It then either gradually seeps further down or grows and moves further down the slope.

This is why it was critical to get the grass growing back soon after initial earthworks were done for the block. It was left exposed and rain just trickled down the slope.

In the meantime I have resorted to digging our kitchen scraps directly into the raised garden bed and let it sit over the hottest part of summer.

 

About Petit Paradis

I am on a journey with my family to transition as closely as practicable to a state of self-reliance in suburbia. I practice permaculture principles in our house, garden and community. We are on the southern coast of Western Australia. To our north is the rest of the world. To the south, Antarctica.
This entry was posted in Creatively Use & Respond to Change, Observe & Interact, Obtain a Yield, Produce No Waste and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Big Dry

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Is cardoon grown for the bloom or the foliage? I know it only as a foliar vegetable. Artichokes are the floral vegetable. Castroville, just a half an hour to the south or so, is the Artichoke Capitol of the World.

    Like

    • Cardoon is grown for the stems which are grown blanched before stripping of the leafy portion and cooking. I like it for the flowers also and it is proving to be quite hardy in the absence of rain. Happy New Year Tony!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        That is sort of what I figured, but was not sure when you mentioned flowers. I have never grown it. I am not certain if I have ever seen it either. If I had, I probably though it was just some sort of artichoke.
        HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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