Monday, May 9, 2011

Desert Gardening

We are now entering our third month with no significant rain!  The garden is looking amazingly good considering but given our resolve not to use mains water to water the garden with we are very dependant on the well we dug out.
   The techniques  we use for dealing with this climate are evolving:  
  • Planting in the autumn and early spring under protection - plastic cloches, polythene and fleece is essential and not expensive if you use recycled materials.
  • Mulching everywhere makes a huge difference - we use grass cuttings supplied by a few professional gardeners who are keen to have an alternative to the recycling centre for them. Because they cut the grass regularly we get little problem with seed in the cuttings.
  • Learning which plants can cope and need little watering is also essential - for instance leeks are able to survive on very little but squashes need the water.
  • Every drop of water from the house is used either by pouring it from the bowls onto the plants or via the reed bed and of course we harvest all the rainwater we can if it does rain.
  • We use deep beds and add lots (and I mean lots) of compost and rotted horse manure to the beds.
  • We pray for rain!!!

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