It came late this year, it seems to get later every year. Not that we have been growing in this spot long enough to have an accurate gauge of the “normal” rhythms of the seasons in the micro climate of Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens. But dry warm air stretching right through and into May, and watering things that really should be able to look after themselves by now, doesn’t seem usual. The rain, when it came, was a welcome and revered event.
With the late warm and the soaking rain, the garlic crop seems to be doubling in size every time we blink. Rain for us means the plants grow fatter, greener and healthier as if by magic. There is nothing like it, rain water is charged with the electricity of the atmosphere and contains nitrogen in a form that plants can readily absorb, so they really do grow like the clappers when it rains.
Rain means we can direct sow broad beans, peas and green manure crops into the rows and they will grow happily with very little intervention from us (besides a bit of weeding and patting). It means our freshly transplanted seedlings can settle their roots in with much less trauma and kick off their new life in the ground with a smile.
It also means that all the dormant weed seeds in our freshly hoed and formed rows have the best conditions possible to thrive! Hence the past month has been consumed with a weeding regime that would make most go weak at the knees. The trick is to weed with your back to the weeds so that you can only see the clear brown earth before you, not the mass of weeds creeping up behind you! Little bit by little bit we’re filling up all our (freshly weeded) new beds with seedlings of all sorts of gorgeous things. Mustard, spinch, silverbeet, lettuce, endives, escarole, raddichio, fennel, brassicas, beets, carrots, radishes, kale, peas and broadies….winter is looking green and yummy! But we would like some more rain please, can anyone organise that for us?
Sas & Mel