Sunday, January 20, 2008

The heat taking its toll

Well things haven't really been doing too much lately except almost dying in the heat and non-rain. Out the front I have agapanthus which I thought were fairly drought tolerant plants, but even those have withered away in the heat, what a few weeks ago were nice lush plants are now clumps of dry yellow leaves with a few green shoots here and there, even my frangipanies are looking a bit sad from the heat and lack of rain.

The corn patch has set some cobs but it didnt escape the heat either with quite a bit of the leaves being burnt.

The tomato plants dont seem to be going that well, the plants themselves look good but there is not too many flowers and the flowers that are there dont seem to be setting, not sure what the problem is there, might have to try again with a different variety.

This morning I went to the local flea market and bought a bag of pig manure and a bag of sheep manure from a nearby, farmer to go on the garden, will see how that goes I have only ever used horse manure on the garden.

Friday evening I got out the back with my hand shovel and attacked the Caltrop which again has spurted into life. I had thought that I might have to resort to spraying it because there seemed to be a lot in the back yard, which was well and truly on its way to setting seed, but after about an hour of walking around and slicing each plant I found, off below ground level with my hand shovel, I found there was fewer plants than I had originally thought, so I am happy that my methods seem like they are working. I have been collecting the seeds in a bucket by the back door, and that is starting to build up nicely.


Belinda said...

Hi Butterflygirl,

Sorry to hear that your plants are feeling so sore and sorry for themselves.

If you have a lot of leaf growth and not many flowers on your tomatoes probably give the manure a miss for a bit.

You might want to try some potash to bring the potassium level up a bit, thats supposed to prompt flowering. Some people dig banana skin into the soil around the plants too in the theory that as the fruit is reasonably high potassium it should be a readily available once composted.

Hope you get some moisture soon.

Kind Regards

Kazz said...

Try using that slicer tool thing that I gave U, much easier on the back than a hand trough...although U still have to bend down to pick them up.

The tomatoes U gave me from the same batch are doing the same...not many flowers and nothing has set. I am starting to think I wont bother hand watering them coz all my effort is for nothing.

ButterflyGirl said...

Hi Belinda, thanks for your advice, I might look into the potash thing, but otherwise I might try some other seeds that I have around the place, which are supposed to be a specific variety, or maybe go the cheats way and get some seedlings from the nursery.

Kazz, I have tried the tool, but I find especially for the smaller plants its easier to see them if you are close to the ground, its amazing how much more you see when your almost at ground level especially with the reflection that comes off of the ground, and I get to use muscles that dont normally get used, so I get a bit of a work out at the same time......squat, slice, stand, step,

Ali said...

you need to make sure the pig manure is aged nefore you use it or it'll be too strong for your plants (unless you plan to dig it in somwhere where there's nothing planted yet and won't be for a while)

molly said...

I'm in west aussie and the heat here is killing us too, not many days below 40C and more than a few around mid-47's

The summers are getting hotter. I've dealt with it by spreading pea straw around everything about 8 inches thick and now I only have to water every 2nd day. I'm also putting shade cloth over the more sensitive plants so they dont get any midday far so good

ButterflyGirl said...

Hi Molly, welcome. I guess I am lucky that most of our days are below 40C (just) and when we do get over 40 its only for a few days. I need to get more pea straw, I am trying to stop myself from buying new plants until after summer because I have had too many die on me

Matron said...

I had a blog debate last year about using pig manure. The general opinion was either to completely rot it down for years or not use it. Pigs are omnivores and their manure has different qualities to that of herbivores.