Sunday, January 27, 2013

HOT and the garden

Holy Moley it is hot. It was this hot back in 1995, but in November, which is the build up to the wet. Very odd (and humidly uncomfortable) to have this heat in January. As I see it, it is because the ex-cyclone from up north has traveled south, and I have observed the circulation going clockwise, so that means the weather dragged over us from the west and north, when we should have easterlies off the Coral Sea this time of year. I shall be submitting this research for publication and my PhD. (not)

So we are cowering inside, which is normal if you are in Canada, but really weird if you are in the tropics. I can't hear any birds over the air conditioning, and it rained last night and I couldn't smell it. I don't like this but it shouldn't last too long, fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, TJ of Florida commented on my planters, and I thank him for admiring them. They are custom made, but only because I couldn't find an old water tank to repurpose. I think they are beautiful, the possums can't seem to climb them, and it is nice to know that dogs have not piddled on your herbs. However, I am struggling with the soil.
worst parsley ever
This has been fertilised with Seasol and pelletized chicken manure, but you would never guess.  I am aware that gum leaves suppress growth, but we have always had them without this result. When we got these planters we spent weeks filling them up with rough garden waste, then topping them up generously with garden soil (purchased) and compost. The first few years were really good, but now it seems there is no good organic stuff in there, too many parasites, and it is just bad.
I add about a bale of sugarcane mulch a year to these beds, and there is almost no organic matter to be seen. They were full, but now they are down a foot or more. This is my second planting of green manure. I sow cheap bird seed, let it grow a foot or so high, dig it under and plant again.
my eggplant struggles on, but really, it isn't doing great.

I am going to fight though. I am getting some bio-fertilizer from a project at the Uni. It cost 30 bucks for a 15 litre jug, which includes 4 refills, so you get 75 litres of fertilizer, which you have to dilute by at least 10 to 1, which is A LOT. I have had to purchase some compost, which is sad, but mine is just not producing well at all. So when it cools down a bit I will revamp, add rich compost and use my magic juice and grow a ton of marigolds and green manure crops, and hope for better food production come March. It is way easier to garden soil that is flash frozen every year!!!!

Do I hope the weather breaks? because that will require a cyclone or such. 


Tim Joe Comstock said...

Who knew that dirt was so complicated? I clicked the bio-fertilizer link and was happy to see that the excess of food at the cafeterias is being processed for profit, although I suspect that the processor cost enough that any positive cash flow may be a ways off. Less happy, though, to see that so much waste is created in the first place. It seems to be the way of our species...
Good luck, Dee, with your garden! Did I understand correctly that it is too hot to ride? Really?


Dee said...

I will still ride to work TJ, I can't think if I don't ride, but yes, I have cut way back on riding and running til the worst of the heat passes. It is just too hard on the body. Thinking of visiting the local pool later though...

Mae said...

The heavy and sustained rain of a monsoon climate leaches exposed soil terribly. We know some people with a Permaculture garden, a one acre block in Cairns. It looks very messy because they just put all prunings, weeds, palm fronds etc on the ground. It's a real jungle, but they grow a lot of food year after year. Our garden is far from manicured, but resembles a garden. We are self sufficient in spices but that's about it!