Water conservation at the allotment

I’m putting the allotment to bed for the summer.  This week I ripped out the lettuces that had bolted, and the climbing beans that had done their dash before covering the whole allotment (all 16 square metres!) with another layer of sugar cane mulch.

The water bill over at the farm has escalated to such a degree through the past dry months that we have been asked to be more diligent with our use of water and a good layer of mulch is the answer.  After watering it keeps the moisture in the soil, and it protects the soil from drying out in the hot sun. It reached 32c degrees today.

So although I mulched a few weeks ago I topped it up. That should be enough now to take me through the summer.

The summer crops are planted – zucchini, Lebanese cucumbers, eggplant, melons and pumpkins. I also have a small bed of dwarf beans which are flowering but have already been attacked by rust on the leaves. The hot humid weather seems to bring all the pests and diseases with it.  Despite that, it never ceases to amaze me just how much stuff I manage to harvest.

I am growing capsicum and tomatoes in pots on the balcony at home so that I can give them daily care. It’s rather thrilling to see the little capsicums emerging, and I’m rather proud of the single tomato now growing strong.  (I know. I don’t get out enough!)

I realise that a photograph is straw is not very exciting. But here it is anyway.

Lebanese cucumber – keeping it’s roots nice and cool

Happy gardening.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MrsYub
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 17:29:12

    I hear ya with the water usage! I have been using all my washing machine water carted by hand via a watering can onto my gardens and plants because otherwise I cannot guarantee it stretching far enough!

    Reply

  2. narf77
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 03:54:26

    Have you guys thought about water wicked garden beds? It might be the answer to water problems and is definately the way to go to conserve water and is entirely feasible on small plots like yours. My first veggie garden on Serendipity Farm is going well. I agree about the mulch and we used mushroom compost for ours but we raised our garden beds and used a local organic composted material for the major part of the bed along with composted horse manure stable bedding and some composted material from elsewhere. It seems to be conserving water amazingly well.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Nov 17, 2012 @ 19:37:49

      Thank you for your water conservation hints Fran. Since I wrote that post we have had the most fierce storm today, and expect more tomorrow. No water shortage this week!

      Reply

      • narf77
        Nov 17, 2012 @ 20:04:33

        I just heard about it on the television news! I said to Steve “That’s where Jean lives…bet they don’t need water now” 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Nov 17, 2012 @ 20:11:16

        We certainly don’t need water now Fran. It’s absolutely pouring down again, really wild weather again tonight.

      • narf77
        Nov 17, 2012 @ 20:35:54

        I wish we had a bit of rain…they are talking about us getting some tomorrow…that will make Steve sad as he just got his whipper snipper out and is talking about going nuts on the paddock. We planted out beans today in our new bean bed…hopefully we get some beans this year 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Nov 17, 2012 @ 20:44:34

        Good luck with the beans. My dwarf beans are just showing flowers, but I’ve got a bad case of rust on the leaves. Must read up what to do about it to see if there is an organic antidote.

  3. notjustgreenfingers
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 06:31:45

    Yes mulching is the way to go. I didn’t need to worry about mulching this year, here in the uk it’s been the wettest summer on record!

    Reply

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