29 March 2009

Drought Update

What can I say? Still no rain. I'm just back from a week in Cape Town teaching a programming course, and still in recovery. Business trips to CT seem to knock me out totally for about 2 days after I return... I've hardly even looked at the veggie garden since I returned -- just been out there to take a look and water the seed trays.

It's disheartening, to say the least. I estimate about 4kl of water left in the dam -- just enough to keep the tadpoles and Chillis alive. The Brandywine tomatoes are dead, along with Lime Green Salad, all the green-beans, and the Galapagos Orange and Resi Gold are on their last legs. I'll try and keep the Resi Gold going awhile longer if I can -- perhaps with the bathwater. Plants that I've watered with washing-machine water have not fared well. I think the surfactants and shit in the detergents are just too harsh for most veggie plants. The fruit trees seem to handle it better.

Right now I should be planting seed trays of Onions and Cabbage Tribe, and direct sowing Peas, Chickpeas and Broad Beans, and preparing Winter beds. There's no point. The weather forecast for the coming week predicts a 20% possibility of Trace Amounts of rain on Wednesday. Or, in other words, an 80% of sweet Fanny Adams.

So Thank You All, those of you who have been so kind as to send me wonderful new Chickpea seed, new Brassica varieties, Wonderful Winter Grains,... you're stars! But it may be a while before I get to grow them... I'm not prepared to squander these gifts unless they stand at least some small chance of success. I keep planting seed-trays for Winter, using varieties where I have a plentitude of seed, in the vain hope that the drought may break by the time they need to be transplanted. No such luck, so far; I've tossed any number of seed-trays of otherwise-thriving seedlings that don't stand a chance.

I know that sooner or later this drought has to break. (Or does it? Says who?) But right now it's depressing. And I'm bored! No beds to dig -- the ground's too hard. Not much to harvest -- the drought's killed the fucking lot! The best I can do is try to mulch the few empty beds that remain un-mulched (for lack of mulching materiel.)

The only bright light in all of this is that it's a great time to weed and hoe!

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