Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Garden stress planning day

Everywhere is so dry now and plants are dying in the garden. Rather than just getting more and more depressed I have decided to develop my garden plan for next summer so that I don't repeat mistakes.
You know it's bad when agapanthus struggle to survive!

My biggest issue apart from 45 degree days is lack of water.
One garden that is unexpectedly thriving is the asparagus garden.
Asparagus needs very deep, rich soil and water. The difference here is that I planted the asparagus in an old commercial fridge. Put a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage and used it as a compost pile for about 12 months. Mixed in good soil and planted.

The big difference in using the old fridge is that it is insulated so that helps keep the soil moist and cool. When I do water, very little water is lost to evaporation or draining away uselessly. This is going to be the blueprint for next summer.
I grew my tomatoes in raised beds this year but no matter how much I mulched I still struggled to water efficiently. The other problem is, as I have previously mentioned, the water quality now is terrible and the plants are
starting to die back. My thyme was doing beautifully and has been watered and mulched but it just can't tolerate the water.

My horseradish is also showing signs of stress. I am going to switch to watering this with rainwater now.

My vegetable garden next year will all be in old fridges and baths.

I will continue to use my 'roof' bed as this was so successful for shallow rooted plants like Beetroot, rocket and spring onions.

We have ample rain in winter so I will position a tank next to this bath and fridge garden. I will need to elevate it so that I can use gravity water these gardens with good water. I am also going to look at putting one garden under shade cloth.
This is the plan anyway! I feel better already!

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