I write this in the heatwave where several places in Britain reached 40°C today. Down at the allotment the jobs have been water, water, water, pick and repeat. Now is the time when I am really appreciating all the mulch I have used. See this post here for the compost I am using as mulch.
If you don’t mulch, the water just creates a run off and the path (and weeds) get a good watering but not the plant. You can see it in the photo and it means that every time I water, the water will just run off the soil on this pathway.
You can see a thin layer of mulch and then the sandier soil and stones under it on the run-off path.
However, if you mulch thickly, the mulch absorbs the water and traps it underneath, providing water to the plant and no where else!
Watch a short video of newly planted red cabbage (Kalibos) being watered with a whole watering can of water and no run-off at all. This was the second can on that patch and will last the plants up to a week depending on the sunshine and wind meaning I can spend more time picking.
I have started a compost for seed sowing trial as I haven’t been happy with seed germination this year. This is my second post regarding the compost so you can see part 1 about how I set it up here.
The seeds have started to germinate and it is interesting to see what has happened because the composts are not all equal.
The seeds in the Westland (pic 1) and Gardener’s (pic 2) compost germinated first and so are slightly bigger than the Sylvagrow (pic 3) and Jack’s Magic (pic 4). The PSB are up as are the chard seeds but in all the composts the chicory has not yet germinated. If my memory serves me correctly, chicory can take a little longer to germinate and it may be a bit too hot at the moment. 28 degrees C in the shade today so much hotter in the greenhouse.
The beans are a no-show at the moment but one is visible in the Gardener’s compost. And finally, the Geums.
They are all doing well but the second picture shows the Sylvagrow multipurpose compost and it dries out quicker than all the other composts and in this hot weather needs two waterings a day. The water also runs out of the pots much more when watering, suggesting that it is not being held onto by the compost. I would say that if I use this compost I will need to put trays underneath to hold onto the water that runs out and allow it to be absorbed throughout the day.
I’ll check in again when I transplant the seedlings which if they continue the same way that they are will not all be on the same day.