Another season has almost passed by and I thought I’d write an update to my post here on the drought we’re experiencing at the farm. Sadly, autumn thus far has delivered us next to no rain and the future predictions on rainfall in our area over the coming year is not good. It’s hard to watch the trees and plants we’ve put in and raised from seedlings struggle, knowing that without good rainfall to fill up the tanks, there is not much we can do. So, in order to try and keep them alive for as long as possible until that happens, I thought I’d give everything a prune a bit earlier than usual. At the moment, the plants are still hanging on but I’m hoping that by pruning back the excess growth, it’ll send the plant’s energy into the roots. The plants should then go into dormancy soon and hopefully, will have enough energy next season to put on healthy new growth.
I am doing this a little earlier than normal but to be honest, I think it is the best way forward at this point. If you have a plant struggling for whatever reason, an option might be to prune it back well. By pruning, you allow the plant stop putting energy into producing fruit or flowers, and it’ll concentrate on producing stronger new growth. As I’m doing mine now, I’m hoping that it’ll go dormant before it starts to grow back.
Another way I’ll be helping the garden is to top everything up with a good layer of mulch. We’re only able to give the fruit trees a small amount of water once a week, and by ensuring each plant has a good layer of mulch around it, it’ll help keep the moisture in the soil a little bit longer.
If you’ve been reading any of my gardening posts, then you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Seasol. I find it really helps my plants deal with our harsh conditions, and I usually give my plants a dose every month as part of my garden maintenance. But as the plants are currently under more stress than usual (and I have sandy soil which doesn’t help at all), I’ve given everything a bit of fertiliser and upped the Seasol to fortnightly to help them as much as I can.
Wanting to be sustainable and produce my own fruits and vegetables, this continual drought is an ongoing blow. Another year without a vegie patch, the fruit trees just hanging on, and nothing to harvest from our own land. Trying to be sustainable has a lot of challenges, but that’s life. On the plus side, baby Shawn (now 7 months old) no longer has any plant limbs to nibble on, and hopefully when we do get rain, the fertiliser Shawn’s been dropping all over the garden will help the lawn to bounce back.
If anyone else is experiencing a similar issue, or has any handy tips to help a garden survive through drought, we’d love to hear from you.
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