As for the water situation, usually the earth is lovely and moist, even in dry periods, because there are so many springs in the fields above the garden, and in the garden itself. But this year is starkly different. It is bone dry. I had a salutary and awful reminder of how bad it is the other day, when one of my lovely Moran chickens fell into the little spring fed pond head first, trying to get to the low water level to drink, I presume. By the time I found her she was very much dead and gone, and I felt terrible. She must have got stuck and unable to get out. RIP the chicken (sad sad sad). Now I have installed a 'health and safety' wire mesh across the top, and put extra water feeders all over the garden for the animals.
I cannot remember having to water my plants in March, but with the hot dry weather, that is what I have been doing. We have until Wednesday before the hose-pipe pan kicks in. So far, I have set up a water-butt pump to pump into a leaky pipe irrigation system for the herb patch. That seems to be working quite well. I have also ordered an 800 litre water tank with high pressure pump, plus siphon plugs and hoses to take the water from the baths into the tank. No messing around! When I really put my mind to it, I was fairly horrified when I calculated just how much water we need to have available to keep the veg patch going.
The second major worry is the shocking temperatures! Wow it has been just glorious over the last couple of weeks, with blue blue skies and temperatures up to 22oC over the past week. But now the Beeb weather people are predicting the possibility of SNOW of all things. It is certainly a little cooler in the evening today, and no doubt there will be a ground frost, but with all the plants thinking its summer, it could be a bit of a damaging shock to their system. Plum trees have already blossomed and apple trees are budding. A sharp cold spell could wreck the crop for the year. Here's hoping the weather will settle down to normal or at least a bit less bonkers over the next few weeks.