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.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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