Tag Archives: water-wise

Today John the farmer is sheet mulching his broad beans.

Sheet mulching suppresses weeds, retains soil moisture and keeps the soil warm. A blanket for the soil.

Agave potatorum. Flowering now at Towerkop Nursery.

Agave potatorum

Sadly this means the Mother plant will perish after flowering but it has produced numerous pups during it’s lifetime.

I had to protect this plant from afternoon direct sun in the Karoo, but otherwise this small, compact Agave is hassle-free to grow.

Agave potatorum is used to make a mexican wine called pulque.

Karoo gold (Rhigozum) flowering now in its natural habitat.

This spiney shrub blends in with the karoo scrub until it blooms profusely in the summer with bright yellow flowers, dotting the veld like bright gold nuggets.

You know it’s going to rain when these cacti flower.

Echinopsis eyriesii

Guild of plants around the young fig tree.

The guild of plants around the young fig tree include tomatoes interplanted with kakibos (Tagetes minuta), wilde dagga (Leonotus ocymifolia), Butternut pumpkin and Aloe ciliaris and jasmine on the trellis.

Today John the farmer is sheet mulching !

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A Good use for Bad news…Today john the farmer is using newspaper to sheet mulch an area of the allotment !

Sheet mulching prevents weeds from coming up and retains the moisture in the soil.

A layer of well rotted biomass from the compost heap holds the newsprint down and prevents the paper from drying out.

I intend planting a ground cover of Sour fig (Carpobrotus) by making small holes in the newspaper and sticking the cuttings into them.

Carpobrotus

Update on the mulching and subsequent planting..

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The fig tree raised bed is planted with sunflowers, gazanias and gem squash.

The trellis contains Jasmine, Aloe ciliaris and an epiphyte cactus.

Below it rambles a butternut squash.

 

 

Today John the farmer spotted this on his walk on the mountain.

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This Babiana plant is a perennial corm bulb in the Iris family. Apparently favoured by baboons that eat it’s corms (hence babiana), it survives amongst rock crevices on sandstone slopes and flats where it flowers in early spring.¬† Possibly B. ambigua, this one was found growing on the Swartberg mountains in the little Karoo.

Senecio articulatus. Candle plant/ hotdog plant/ worsies. Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Kleinia

Senecio or Kleinia articularis is a succulent with blue-gray jointed stems resembling a string of sausages hence it’s name hotdog plant or ‘worsies’.

It has ivy shaped leaves that are seen seasonally, otherwise the stems are bare.

They spread and ramble under larger shrubs in the spekboomveld and gwarrieveld of the western cape and eastern cape of South Africa.

 

Helichrysum cymosum – Feature plant at Towerkop Nursery.

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Helichrysum cymosum 

Related to everlastings, this perrenial shrub volunteered on the allotment at Towerkop nursery. It grows to a metre high and flowers profusely from spring well into summer.

Occurs naturally on sandy slopes in damp places from the southwestern cape to Mpumalanga.

Moonstone, Pachyphytum flowering now at Towerkop Nursery.

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A native of Mexico, this Moonstone succulent flowers from late winter to early spring.