It is with great happiness and some disbelief that I tell you the cabbages and zucchini have thrived in that seemingly hostile soil.
Also amazingly, until today they survived on only two lots of hand watering. It has been extremely mild and there has been some light rain, so I guess we were lucky. However, today I began laying out the drip irrigation system so we won't need to rely on luck and mild spring weather anymore.
You can see the irrigation line between the plants. This type of drip irrigation is so easy to use, it really is just a matter of connecting a length of pipe to the tap and then connecting the lines of drip irrigation to this main pipe. It took me about 30 minutes to set up the tap timer and the four lines for the cabbages and zucchini. I'll be able to add new lines just by cutting the main pipe and connecting a new drip irrigation line. I'll also be able to extend the main pipe without difficulty when I want to take the irrigation system to other parts of the block. I think each new line will take no more than 5 minutes.
The tap with the irrigation timer and main pipe (the black plastic pipe under the timer)
Now, I'm going to experiment with the irrigation timer to work out the best way to use it. At the moment it turns on the irrigation system every second night for 60 minutes. This should be fine while the mild weather continues, though I'm pretty sure I will have to increase watering when summer really kicks in.