Part of my stress this week hasn’t just come from work being a huge pain (which it is), but the way that the sudden onslaught of summer has already hit our new plantings very hard. My beautiful, lush potato beds have all been knocked over with early blight, and died within a few days. I’ve never faced potato blight before, but it is a monstrous disease in how fast it works. There will be no potatoes for us this year.
On top of this, after a spring season that seemed to be nothing but cold and rain, this week has been beaming sunshine. The ground has dried out, and then some. Cracks have already opened up all over the place. All of the trees that we planted up at the new section are showing signs of heat stress.
The biggest problem we face is water. There is no water there. There never will be a “town supply” water connection on that property, so when we live there our drinking water will all have to come from a tank connected to the roof gutters. Setting up a rainwater tank for potable water isn’t even legal in some countries, but it’s actually pretty common around here.
Our tank is already in place. The problem is that our house is not, so the tank has sat empty and forlorn since July. If I want water for the garden, I literally have to fill up lots of water bottles and drive them up there… Or get the tank filled and connected to a gravity-fed faucet. There’s no power for a pump yet either.
I think, in the long run, the option of filling the tank and just putting on a tap will be what we do. Judging by the shape of the soil already, in this first week of December, we will have no option if we hope to keep our little trees alive for the next three months. In the short term though, I have bought a lot of water bottles which I will be dutifully emptying and refilling over the coming few days. There is no rain on the forecast for the week ahead.