Thursday, December 4, 2008
Unseasonally pleasant weather we're having.
Compared to last November and early December it has been extremely mellow weather. I don't think we've hit 35 degrees C once yet. This is having various effects in the garden.
There has been a bit of rain here and there and since it is overcast and not very hot the ground isn't drying out as much. It's great not having to water very often yet; I'm not very good at regular watering, which is my biggest downfall when it comes to vegetable growing.
One of the best ways to reduce having to water as often is to increase organic matter and mineral content in the soil, especially on Perth sands which are weak, lifeless and have no structure. There are more minerals available in the Perth area.
There is the chance though that once the sun does come out properly a lot of plants are going to get scorched. I've seen it already on a few things, burnt on the very few hots days.
In Perth some people are now putting 30% shade-cloth over their vegetable growing areas to reduce scorch in mid-summer. It's the only way to be able to continue to grow soft, leafy vegetables in Perth.
If I'm going to plant in open ground away from regular water I dig in some soil improver with a pinch of water-saving crystals in the bottom of the hole. I just planted a prostrate rosemary plant across the road on the big empty verge near the two other tough plants I put in last winter. They managed to get noticed by the council workers (that is they didn't get mowed down), so I'm hoping to cover the bare area over there with various low-growing tough plants that can cope with dryness and full West Australian sun.