Ways to save your garden
At some point, the soil microorganisms can’t process this organic matter any further, and the left-over material is called humus. Consisting mostly of carbon, humus is so stable that it can persist in the soil for hundreds of years.
This is why those who farm without chemicals (which destroy the soil structure) have far fewer problems during drought times. A layer of organic material over humus-rich gardens further ensures lower moisture loss to sun and wind.
This is a long term project but improvement will occur within a year, as long as the micro-organisms, which must be present in large populations to make humus, aren’t compromised.
That means no chemical sprays, no chemical fertilisers (a little for special reasons occasionally is ok) and no chlorinated tap water. Fit a carbon bonded filter and housing onto your garden tap to remove the harmful chlorine if it’s in your water supply.
Continue to progressively add organic, chemical free material.
When weeding, lay the pulled weeds on the soil surface to feed the soil and return the nutrients they have extracted.
Apply monthly to quarterly, a combination of Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) and Mycorrcin as a soil drench, along with potash. Every three months, add a soft garden lime, dolomite and gypsum and during sunny, hot or windy times, an all-over spray of Vaporguard.
Follow these simple instructions and every year, drought problems will become less.
When the soil becomes too dry, surface tension prevents water from penetrating. So, before watering, break the soil surface tension by either using MBL, or dish-washing liquid in warm water, lathered up and spread with a watering can. Leave for a while to penetrate then irrigate with nonchlorinated water.
To get water deeper into the soil for trees and shrubs, cut the bottom off a plastic 2-litre cordial bottle and bury it (neck down and cap off) near the plant. Then simply fill the upturned bottle with water.
Generally, grey water is good for your gardens, and may have nutrients as well. However, do not store it for more than 24 hours, and only use laundry detergents low in sodium (salt).
Problems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmerston North 3570606). Email wallyjr@ gardenews.co.nz. Website gardenews.co.nz
A drought-proof garden makes the most of water resources while ensuring garden plants don’t go thirsty.