Finally we are getting decent rain....albeit with a price tag.
My garden was devastated by the October/November heat and lack of moisture and little mulch to be had. So I started replanting and rejigging. Changing the plan.Engineering for the heat and the dry.
Unfortunately, last week's storm cells hit us hard and my seedlings were shredded by golf ball sized hail.
So the rain does come at a price...
What survived and what I've planted since is beginning to add promise to the rejig.I'm looking at the garden from 2 metres down to the soil and across the beds as a sort of complete entity, rather than just looking at the soil.
Planted out are jicama, winged and snake beans; more chokoes and strategically located Arrowroot, Indian shot (Indica) Cannas and sunflowers for Summer shade (and a mulch resource). And everywhere I've planted pigface cuttings -- mainly Carpobrotus glaucescens (Eastern Pigface) -- but also the southern variety, Carpobrotus rossii, as well as Purslane, Portulaca oleracea. They're my ground cover living mulch. Leastways that's the plan: a carpet of succulents.
So shade above via climbers, and succulents below, with mulch and shade serving stuff in between. In sync, my frangipanis have come back to life -- so I'm hoping they grow fast over the period of hot weather to come.
In the mix I've tripled my Katuk plantings with hedges of the bushes running every which way in the shadier spots. You can never have too much Katuk.
My cucumbers are coming on -- now occupying my mounds which grew such a great crop of spuds this year. I'm hoping the contour won't require me to trellis them.In the mnix: anew plat out of zuchinis.
In a succession of 'containers' the KangKong is growing well -- just so long as I hand remove an infestation of 24 spot ladybirds almost daily. And my
Jerusalem artichokes are doing fine: spreading out and now more than a metre tall.
Also 'contained': I planted out sweet potato in an old bathtub after it was clear that I couldn't keep the water up to the plants in garden beds.
I suspect there are more spuds to harvest but I didn't mark all the spots where I originally planted seed potatoes so I'm still discovering nuggets in the earth.I'm also growing a 'yam', that has taken off in several spots -- but I've forgotten its species. That's a surprise for later.
Of the standard veg fare what's growing is limited to chilli peppers --both hot and sweet -- rocket, basils, the parsleys are surviving, and chicories. Still delightfully confident in their growth are my forests of curly leaf kale.
Like the Purslane, I'm finding that the edible hibiscus -- Aibika
-- is easily struck from cuttings and , as far as my stomach is concerned, is a tasty little number.So there's another plant that I'm planning to spread around a lot by parking it in the beds.
The garden still looks dreary -- as though it has suffered -- the pain shows. But give it time...