Growing vegetables in Spring

October 18th, 2011
Early capsicums
Finally got around to checking the temperature under the newly planted capsicums. We have just had some cold rain, so I expected the soil temperature to be down: sure enough, it was 15.5oC (at 50 mm deep). The temperature under the bottles was 1 degree higher, at 16.5oC. Not much of  a difference, but still useful, especially as this was at 5.30 pm in the late afternoon on a overcast rainy day.

October 10, 2011

Early capsicums
Bottled water from the supermarket is pretty expensive. And those plastic bottles are real wasteful. Thats why I decided to bottle my own tank water into old wine bottles and save, save save! As it happens ,there are plenty of wine bottles laying around (!), I have been saving them up, with the idea of using them to make a low retaining wall for the vege garden 'one day'.

Nah, just joking - I've never understood the bottled water thing, when we have perfectly good water straight out of the tap.

Actually, I had just planted some little capsicum plants (variety 'target', from the local Mitre10), and was watching resignedly as the skys clouded over and a cool wind started whipping then around. Always a good idea to 'plant early and get a jump on the season'. Yeah, right!

Thats where the bottles of water come in. It occured to me that the bottles of water might act as a sort of 'solar collector', storing the suns heat and passing it to the moist soil below. Capsicums are warmth loving plants, and even a dgree or two of extra heat in the soil might help them get their roots down.  In addition, the bottles themselves might act as a physical windbreak while the plants are tiny. At least to a certain extent, anyway.

If I can find my old soil thermometer, I'll check the soil temperatures later today.