Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Droughty Days

The weather continues to be mostly dry with an occasional rainy day. We never got the torrential downpours that normally defines a Galician winter and the lack of rain continues to be a problem. Headlines in the newspapers report that despite the reservoirs being almost full water issues are expected later this year. Our winter stream never flowed, there were some puddles in the stream bed but no proper flow. This means that the groundwater remains depleted. After some discussions with Tim we have agreed to downsize our vegetable growing areas this year. The soil remains poor despite my best efforts as I have been stretching the compost too thinly trying to meet conflicting needs. This year I will concentrate my efforts on the polytunnel, tyre towers and the best veggie bed. The rest will be covered and I will throw garden waste on top in an effort to improve the soil and reduce watering requirements. I see no sense in pouring effort and water onto bad soil if the expected drought tightens it's grip and the veggies are unlikely to thrive.
We are eating homegrown strawberries, broad beans and loads of salad leaves, the Chinese leaves have done very well. Fruit has set and the baby kiwis Red Ken and Issai are both flowering for the first time. Another fruit that I have never tasted.
Bees are working hard and the new cockerel Gandalf is settling in well He is a grey Sureña Porcelana and very beautiful. He is still a bit young to take up full duties but he has two young Pineira hens to keep him company until he plucks up the courage to take on the older matronly hens.
The last of the apple trees is now in blossom and the squashes have survived the most recent heavy frosting I hope. They lost their leaves but the stalks with embryonic flowers and new leaves are still green. Tim is still back and forth to the UK but we both hope that he might get to stay here for longer than a week or two at some point. Happy growing all you gardeners out there.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Tim and Nicky,
    Thanks for sharing the lovely photos. Issai kiwifruit are superb tasting but the fruit is a little bit smaller than the ones you may be used to. Your drought strategies (I hear you!) seem pretty good, but more top soil (i.e. more compost) will help retain more water in the ground. You never know with a drought whether it will be a short term or a long term event. And do you throw shade cloth over the hoop house to prevent it from overheating and using way too much water in a drought?
    Cheers
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will look into shade for the hoophouse, I have tomatoes, peppers, chillis and aubergines in there with a melon or two to provide ground cover but they do roast a bit. I try my best to produce compost and add chicken manure where I can but I am envious of your source of mushroom compost. There is nothing like that around here.

      Delete