Seven weeks without rain

Just heard, it’s official, on the news today, 7 weeks without rain in Brisbane.

Amazingly enough the vegetables in my allotment, and the attached community garden, are producing an abundance.

We have achieved this with watering of course, but we also take mulching seriously to protect the soil from drying out.  The mulching also saves on water which we learned from the big drought here a couple of years ago, is precious.

The mulch I use in my allotment is sugar cane which the farm buys in bulk and we can purchase individually at a good price. I have also bought this from the gardening department at Bunnings. I am not sure how thick is the recommended depth (if there is one!) but I lay a couple of inches (or 5 centimetres).  I made sure I give the soil a thorough watering before I add the straw and that will give a good protection from the hot dry weather, it also deters weeds which is another plus.

I think it also helps that I have worked hard at increasing the health of the soil in my allotment by adding lots of compost and a good dose of well rotted manure, when I transplant seedlings I soak them in Seasol to get them over the shock. It’s my belief that a healthy soil with plenty of humus has helped grow resilient plants too.

Either way, Mother Nature is doing her bit and keeping my plate full. I’m grateful.

I have been digging through my photographs to find the first pics I took on the day I took over my allotment in July 2010. It is 8 square metres. I then took over a second 8 square metres next to it a few months later.

First allotment July 2010

With the big fork and a big smile

Laying compost on my new plot July 2010

I have noticed that I’m still wearing the same gardening hat. It’s a bit faded now.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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