Water Matters

This is the Blimp.

It catches rain from the roof and stores it until we are ready to use it on the veggie patch.  It finally ran dry a couple of days ago.  so now we have to connect a hose from the house to fill the blimp.

Then we use a pump to transfer the water from the blimp over these rocks...

Across this bit of ground (cleverly buried pipe)...

and then into the mini blimps in the veggie patch....

Ooops... this one is leaking... you can see Steve in the background hot footing it back to the house to turn the pump off.

It only takes a couple of rainstorms to refill the big blimp, but its unlikely that we will have a decent rain storm until the autumn now.  Summer storms do happen and they are regularly forecast but as the song goes... the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain... well... it often misses us and we can see it across the plain in the distance.

The garden has received a lot of attention this spring and is looking the best it ever has.  There are still some problems that annoy me though.

The ants.  Without spraying it is impossible to control them.  I wont spray the veggie patch because I don't like the idea of insecticide in my vegetables. But this year more than most the ants are causing issues.  I expected to be overrun with courgettes but so many of them are simply turning yellow and rotting on the plant long before they are big enough to pick.  Here you can see... every little black dot is an ant, it was hard to stay there long enough to take the photo... they just ran everywhere.  Their nests are right up against the roots of the courgette plants.

I have realised that if I want a glut of veg I need to plant more plants.  I know that should be obvious but in the UK I always had a glut with very few plants.  It could go back to the water situation of course.  Less water, less veg.

The reason I want a glut is because I want to store the veg for later.  I have oodles of stuff for preserving, bottling, drying, freezing, canning all my excess veg and now I am not getting any excess veg.

The one thing that I might get a glut of is the aubergines.  They are not the easiest things to store.  They don't pickle or bottle well and even freezing is a bit iffy.  I have an experiment in mind and will let you know if it works over on the Food from the Finca site.  Last year all my tomatoes got blight but so far this year everything looks great.  the lettuce has been going steady for ages.  I don't think I've bought a lettuce since before last Christmas.

The things that didn't work.  chillies.  I sowed several varieties.  Most didn't even germinate, those that did, died soon after.  Not sure why.  the peanuts were stolen by mice.  ditto some of the sweetcorn but the five plants that remain are producing so fingers crossed they make it to harvest without misshap.

So now it is just a case of keeping up with the watering which takes about an hour every day (sometimes more than an hour).  And I am determined to keep the weeds down this year too.  But the garden will definitely come into its own in the autumn when the  weather cools down a bit.  Very much looking forward to that.


  1. Water is life, isn't it? Our only source of water for everything (drinking, washing, watering) is rainwater that we collect off our roof. Fortunately, we get plenty of rainfall, and except for the dry season it is pretty easy. We have 27(!) vats which each hold 2500 liters to carry us and another household through the dry season. Also, to get through the dry season, we collect the grey water from our shower, bathroom sink, and clothes washer to water the various plants (except the root veg). Our veg garden is tiny at present, but we hope to expand. The photos of the water hoses going from your blimp to the miniblimps and on to the veg is a familiar sight to me!

    1. Blimey, alot of water tanks! We could with another couple as we have other smaller roofs with no catchment facility... plans are always ongoing. The rainy season sounds very attractive at the moment, even in winter we are quite dry. The well is great but i am always conscious of the amount of fuel or electricity we use.

    2. Twenty-seven vats does seem like a lot, but a well is not an option here because the ground water is brackish. We have to have enough water in the vats to last us about 4-6 months. Can you or do you already have solar power?

  2. We don't have solar power but it's a very good option here. We were already on mains electric when we bought the place and because our well is actually at least 200 metres from the house (downhill) we would need two separate systems and that would prove too expensive for us, however a partial solar system is on the cards... but we have to save. Recent events in the UK just reinforce how much we want to be as self sufficient as possible.


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