Everyone loves the Sun, I love the Sun, but you can have too much of a good thing. The current drought means there are no deep water reserves in the soil and no matter how deep plants send their roots they are still having difficulty finding water. Of course I in my desperation come along and water the soil which in turn makes the roots head for the surface to get the water the Sun then scorches the shallow roots and kills the plant; I feel like an accessory to murder.
7th September: Things I have been doing lately
🥐 Feeding the lawn. If you have any lawn left as opposed to desert dunes, then now is the time to give it the last feed of the Summer. Apply a high Potash feed using either a wheeled spreader or just broadcast it by hand. The only problem with hand broadcasting is that it can lead to patchy results with high doses that cause grass scorching or low doses that mean not enough feed. So if you can justify it get yourself a wheeled spreader, they don’t cost very much and you need to use it about six times a year.
This feed is important as the grass will have become exhausted with all that growing and now needs to recuperate during the cooler months. By doing this now you will get your reward with stronger brighter grass in the Spring. The photo below shows my spreader ready to go to work and a sack of the feed that I use.
🍂 Composting Autumn leaves. I know the height of Summer is a strange time to be thinking about Autumn leaves but that’s gardening for you. No doubt you will remember that I told you last Autumn to rake up all your leaves place them in sacks aerated by puncturing with a fork and then leave them in a dark place. Well if you did, it’s time to get them out. Leaves compost in a different way to normal plant matter so are best kept out of the compost heap for a while. I usually wait about 6-8 months then add them to the normal compost heap. By this time they will have done their main compost period and can be happily mixed in to add nice rich loam to your compost. The photo below shows one of my six sacks of leaves about to go to it’s final resting place in the compost heap. I have put one bag in every two weeks so that they are layered into the heap. This is riveting stuff I don’t know about you, but I’m on the edge of my seat.
🥔 Digging up Butternut Squash. Sadly my Butternut Squash have totally failed to provide me with even one little Squash this year all because of the drought. Last year was a bumper crop and Cruella (my wife) has been making Butternut Squash curries all year and using them in all sorts of spells. She even knitted little blonde wigs for them and had a line of Butternut Squash Donald Trumps (she is a big fan).
After feeding, watering and caring for them night and day I decided that enough was enough, they were not going to produce Squashes now so they had to go. In the end I dug up almost 20 metres of Butternut Sqash tendrils. The photo below shows one of the three barrow loads that went on the compost.
🌴 Checking out dates. Not that kind, I’m not thinking about “Tinder”, Anyway I thought it was something you lit fires with. No, I mean Date Palms. One of the big successes of this dry summer besides Figs, have been dates. I have a number of Phoenix Date Palm trees and all of them are bursting with dates, see photos below. The squirrels in my garden will have a fabulous time, but I plan to give them some competition. After my great success with sun dried Figs, I now plan to sun dry the dates. The only problem is Cruella and I are going to our English house for a couple of weeks and I don’t know if the squirrels will have left any by the time I return. I’ll let you know what happens.
💦 Its raining! My prayers have been answered it is just starting to rain; and quite heavily too. Much to Cruella’s amusement this has sparked a burst of frenetic activity from me. Firstly, I have to race round and open the lids of the compost bins so that they benefit from the rain. Then a quick sprint around all the water timers turning them to “off”, all 11 of them. Stopping only to tie up a wayward shoe lace, I then jog round all the water butts and tanks to make sure every thing is open and clear, ready to receive the lovely rain water. I place a large plastic box by each water butt ready to run off any excess and lastly I place three large plastic dustbins besides my large 1,000 litre tank ready to run off any overspill into each of the dustbins in turn. I have also decided to stick any Naya plants that are normally undercover into puddles for a drink; why not it’s free.
The first photo below shows me in unbelieving supplication as the first drops of rain begin to fall. The second photo shows my collection of water receptacles by the big water tank. The final photo shows a Lantana and an Aloe enjoying a drink in a puddle.