Weeks of extreme heat and bushfires were followed by a wind storm that swept through the surrounding district, devastating houses and trees and causing power losses. In the garden, the cucumbers, beans, zucchinis and sunflowers all took a flogging but survived, though productivity has been lost.
So it was a relief this past week to be blessed by a gentle Irish rain that fell softly on the garden for nearly 24 hours, notching up more than 107 mm (4”) and bringing much-needed relief from the summer heat. Rainwater tanks are unexpectedly full again. Yet another weather record (“wettest February day in Adelaide in 45 years”) has been broken in a summer of extremes.
With the pressure to irrigate and save water lifted, the rain provides an opportunity to fix the ugliest bed in the kitchen garden, home to Spring lettuce crops but since standing fallow for lack of spare water. This bed had been set aside for winter planting, but the deep rains have soaked down through the profile and jump-started the autumn plantings.
So the longed-for Sunday off – the first planned for over three months – must be set aside for some quick landscaping, weeding, tilling and transplanting of seedlings from the seed table to this new bed. Carrots and Chinese cabbage are planted out into soft black moist soil. Garlic chives, spring onions, rocket, broccoli and German cabbage will all follow in the coming weeks.