Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Water, weed and feed me!

Now that the major planting work has finished it is time to maintain this garden of ours. The temperatures are climbing steadily everyday and the vegetables are needing much more water.

Because we do all we can to save water in our household, I really lavish water on my garden now. We luckily have a wellpoint so we use this most of the time to water as far as the pipe will reach.

I also have three different kinds on sprinklers as we have all these pathways and each sprinkler can water a section most efficiently with minimal amounts of water being wasted on paving or gravel. I water the gardens every second day for a long time in each spot so that if I dig down about 10 cm the soil is damp.

It is also at this time of the season when weeds are growing as much as our plants. Each weekend, one of my children's early morning chores is to produce a bucket of weeds from the gardens. These are hastily picked through by our chickens as they enjoy most of the weeds that we offer them.

Then I also focus on feeding our gardens, pots and baskets. I will add a good sprinkling of Bounce Back once a month and water it in well. But I also use our wonderful worm juice.

We drain off about 1 bucket a week which is then diluted half-half with water and this is fed to the vine and granadilla plants. I use SeaGrow or Liquifeed for my baskets and pots which is given to them every two weeks.
If I am more adventurous, one day I will try to make some manure tea!

I know this may seem extreme but I believe that the yields are better when we care properly for the growing plants. For example, we are picking about 200g of strawberries a day at the moment!


Anonymous said...

I water by hand early in the morning ... hope it lasts through the heat of the day! Manure tea is wonderfully easy! I placed 3 mesh bags (used orange and fruit bags) filled with dry (non-smelly) cow poop and placed them in water in a large bucket with a tap in the base. Within a week the water was tea - which I dilute in my watering can and pour at the base of the plants. It is my "free" plant food! I hope to buy 2 more buckets and rotate my tea cycles.

Wendy said...

Great idea Nadene, lukcy that you have cow poop on hand :-) I will have to get some horse manure and give it a try!