It's hot here. To have temperatures of over 25'C in Scotland is pretty rare, I can tell you. Usually we're still wearing cardies in July. So it's a bit of a shock all round, especially to the veg patch. For the last few years we've practically been cutting drainage trenches round the veg beds in an effort to keep them from flooding.
This year however it's been very dry the last couple of months and the allotment is turning into a dustbowl. I've never seen it so dry, not at the start of July anyway. I don't normally water crops...I prefer to keep them sturdy and self sufficient. But this year it's different.
Anyway, after yet another hour with the hose last week I took a thought and went hunting in the shed. Eight years back one of our local DIY warehouses shut down and sold off a lot of their gardening stock f0r really silly prices, like the water butt I have for £1. I bought a lot of stuff, including eight rolls of "leaky" ie drip irrigation hosepipe, reduced from £18 per 15m roll to 10p, mostly because each roll had a load of useful hose fittings which are expensive. Me being me though I'd shoved it all in the shed and forgotten about it.
So now I have 120m of leaky hosepipe set up over my favoured beds on the allotment, linked together by short runs of scrap piping. It sounds a lot but really this only covers five beds so I've only put it on beds with thirsty plants. When I visit the allotment I connect up the hose end to the tap and hey presto, the beds water themselves. Cool, eh? I just wish I could put it on an automatic timer but that's not allowed. But it's a fun system. I have plans to extend it further next year and maybe link it to the water butts, but then again, it will probably rain solidly for the next five summers....
On a lighter note, Paws is really suffering in this heat under his huge bear coat. He lies in front of the fans and looks pained. Ollie, with his lightweight coat, is fine, but Paws has started to felt. He has really fine fur round his britches, it's obviously an area that gets a bit of friction and he's sweaty. Thus, he's felting. I do comb him most days but he's never been keen on getting his nethers combed (would you???) and now he's matting up. I'm keeping the felted bits at bay by a combination of clipping them out and combing the bits he'll let me comb, but still. A felted cat, lol. How appropriate!