Don't Waste The Water

Sweet_Potato is talking about growing Beans, Squash, Tomato, Zucchini, Broccoli, Peas, Cauliflower, Cabbage from Eastern Eyre Peninsula

Garden in progress

We are trying to establish fruit trees across our property – we have half a dozen waist-high heirloom apple trees, a pear, an apricot, peach and nectarine, kaffir lime and an orange, two plums and a pair of struggling cherries. Our mandarin was mauled by the husky SidVicious and the lemon tree is suffering from serious malnutrition and a lack of water. The lemon was our first fruit tree addition and we thought we’d place it in a sheltered corner behind TheShouse but the ground there is so dead and dry we should have accepted that it wasn’t a good position. TheBornFarmer now plans to relocate the tree and see if it survives the move to thrive somewhere else. We’ve got one happy grape vine and a persistent passionfruit – we’ve lost twice that of both and our avocado tree fell victim to the hot East winds our property is named for.

But the trees are not my forte – TheBornFarmer has hooked most of them up to a watering system and, after a visit to the Riverland where we saw rows and rows of melons and pumpkins between the orchard rows, we now grow our zuchs, cucs and melons under the trees. I’ve also buried all the mint runners I tore out of the strawberry garden under the mulch and now the herbs stretch across the rows and what we don’t harvest is often mowed into a cloud of zesty, minty-fresh mulch.

This idea of under planting to take advantage of shade, water or an extended growing season has become an important concept in our garden. Right now I have a multitude of radish growing under my new tomato seedlings – they’ll be picked and eaten long before under colour on the tomato plants, as will the baby spinach under my peas which are getting a nitrogen boost as a bonus.

We border the brassica beds in garlic and onion to deter the beats, grow nasturtium and mint in shady wet corners, or run beans and peas up behind the leafy greens.

I’ve learned it’s worth taking the time to regularly replenish your soil with manure, soil and pea straw, compost and worm castings so that it can support a busy, layered garden.