Friday, April 25, 2008

Dealing With The Schizo Summer

Things to do with weather have been getting really weird. My garden is not excluded.

Not only has this summer been searing hot-- we are supposedly going to have a lot of rain due to La Nina. This means weather extremes and awkward days for the plants.

My garden has highly crappy soil, due to the fact that it is made of dumped earth from swimming pool excavations. We had to adjust the level of our lot because the street was raised, and it was starting to cause flooding during rainy season. Obviously, the existing soil does not have much absorptive qualities, being made of mostly clay and rock. How do we get plants to survive this scourge? And how do we maximize the coming rains? At the same time?

To start, I've been dumping more leaves on the ground than usual. (Stealing bags of leaves is a good preoccupation. I don't understand why people get rid of them in the first place. They sweep their yards up, and, as a consequence, have to water many times over because evaporation is quick on a bare area.)

This is actually perfect, because it keeps the soil from getting parched, and it will also decompose into topsoil when the rains come. Narra leaves smell like tea. That is another plus. I am also heavily mulching trees. Look at this revived banaba:

I've also dug ditches and holes in the ground to gather water. Our gutter flows out into a canal (a little moat, if you may) surrounding our house, and this occasionally floods into our garage. So from this canal, I've dug a trench into a hole, so water may flow in, and eventually sit and seep through.

Lastly, I know it's not a good time to start making plants root, but I'm trying really hard with a few. One is this pandan. I'm using an enema bag for that "gradual release" effect (although the drip rate could be slower, but I guess no one wants to have a day-long enema). Moisture. Through an anal tube. Great stuff!

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