The fact that I constantly had to water the garden last summer gave me an idea for an experiment. Although it was already mid summer and for most things to late in the season to sow, I just wanted to try to see what it does.
I prepared 2 mortar buckets, starting with a layer of wool, soil and wool and soil and wool. I finished with just a bit of soil spread over the last layer of wool, so the wind won’t blow the wool and seed away. This was watered thoroughly. In this I sowed some green mustard, carrots, beets and some flowers.
The idea is that this does not need watering, because the wool can store a lot of water and gives it to the plants as they need it. There fore I will not water these buckets at all, but they only get some water when it rains. Of course I did not make a science of this experiment and I forgot to keep track of how long it went without rain, but some seed sprouted and some plants grew.
The first few weeks there was no rain, but we had damp nights which obviously brings moisture to the plants as well. By the time the plants became bigger the rainy time started, so I am not sure how much the wool brings over a longer dry period, but I am sure I will find that out next summer. What I did find is that the bit of soil I spread on top of the last layer of wool became a very hardy crust which is not ideal if you want to grow anything in there. I will loosen that up and maybe put a thicker layer of wool on top when the new season starts in spring.
I am also planning to experiment some more with wool and maybe mulch an entire raised bed with it. The birds will probably also love that.