Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rethinking The Garden Plan To Better Accomodate Dry Summer Periods And Intense Heat

2 minutes b4 I went 2 tour veggie garden 2day
We're still suffering through the heat wave, even though the weather service had initially mentioned it would end around the 19th (last Sunday).

My garden looks really sad. Still alive. But not looking as lush and crisp as it used to.

So I decided to walk the main garden this afternoon, not just to see how the plants are doing, but also to get visuals to help me reconsider the way I garden.

As you may have seen in the pictures in my gallery, my garden in Phokeng is fairly big.

Basically, I have the main vegetable garden, which is enclosed, that's around 50 metres by 30 metres.

That's just the vegetable "patch." Then I have two other gardening spaces that are each slightly smaller than the main garden, and two courtyards where I can do some container gardening.

That excludes the ornamental/lawn garden area (where I'm standing in the photo. And no, I'm not short; the photographer is a giant. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!)

But I digress. The issues I'm having to consider, possibly to be implemented when we approach Autumn are:

  • Optimal use of the land I have. Right now, I'm not making judicious use of the space.
  • Watering regularly but needing to use less water overall
  • A food garden that requires less maintenance
  • Use of long-lived (is it perennial) plants that produce food for long periods, may be even more than one season. Not that we have properly demarcated seasons here. Basically we know when it's supposed to be winter, and some days it's cold then, but for people from really cold area, it might feel like a crisp Autumn day.
  • Plants that are less sensitive to intense sunlight
  • Ways to shade most of the vegetable garden area
  • Working on the soil to make it less clay-like, for it to retain more water.
 And yet, these have to be plants that can provide food for the family, and not just any food, but the stuff we can eat. It's no use my growing egg plant knowing quite well that the family doesn't like it (we've already done that experiment).

Anyhoo, your input would be very helpful. Thank you for reading.

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