Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ash and the Farm

Without a good daily rain ..... Oh heavens, am I really longing for rain?.....the light ash is starting to build up. Most of the plants have either a smooth waxy surface to their leaves or have leaves that droop or hang at a slant enough for a light rain to wash them off. Below shows what happens to most of the taro varieties. A light rain creates gray water droplets that build up to large drops, carrying the ash away. 

But some plants have leaves where the ash builds up because the small rain droplets get blocked from flowing off the leaf. Or they are not waxy enough to easily shed the rain. Below is an example of banana leaves. Older leaves are droop readily in rain, thus shedding their ash. Younger leaves are more vertical or horizontal. The whitish grey ash gets caught along the little leaf ridges. I suspect that a  good rain should wash this away. 

Many of my veggie plants have horizontal leaves. Not all veggies, but several. The ash is tending to build up on them and become noticeable. Once the ash has been wet by a light rain, it seems to become plastered to the leaves. I tried hosing the ash deposit off, but most still adheres to the leaves. 

I'm not sure how this will damage the plants, but I can say that it will definitely interfere with photosynthesis. The ash is blocking the sunlight. Plants will grow slower. Thus the plant will be smaller. In turn, the crop will be significantly diminished. Not the sort of news I'm happy about. 

I'm also noticing that the ash is difficult to remove from leaves I wish to eat. Washing the mamaki leaves was more challenging. Getting the ash off the fresh greens, like those sweet potato leaves above, takes more time and effort. 

With the ash sticking to things, I'm more concerned about my livestock. None of the sheep are pregnant right now, but two of the dairy goats might be. So I'm out to purchase hay and haycubes this week for the goats. I'll try to entice them away from eating the ashy browse, 

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