We have just returned home after being on holidays for close to 3 weeks….. I must admit that as much as I like being home to take stock of what is happening in the garden I am not at all happy about facing the prospect of returning to work next week!
While we were away enjoying blissful days of 25-30 degrees, gentle breezes, great surf, swimming and eating decadently, the temperature at home was hitting 43-47 degrees over a 4-5 day period. No garden is able to cope without stress and some form of damage with these conditions so I was very concerned as to what we may find on our return. I was also concerned about how our precious chooks would cope. My concerns were largely unfounded and I was pleasantly surprised I must say! A combination of good planning and management prior to leaving, wicking beds that surpassed all expectations in keeping moisture supplied to the root systems of my plants, and a son who was checking that some precious newly planted trees were watered paid dividends.
Preventive measures undertaken before we left were:
- Mulched, fed and deep watered all fruit trees and newly planted garden beds.
- Made sure all wicking beds reservoirs were full and surfaces mulched.
- Strung some shade cloth strategically over chooks, corn and raspberries.
- Set up a couple of timers to water the greenhouse crops and potted plants.
Filling the main wicking bed to capacity.
Some shade cloth on corn bed along the side where the hot afternoon sun hits, hopefully pollination wasn’t hampered. Signs of baby corn developing so fingers crossed.
I hung some shade cloth on the west-facing side of the chook house to give them some relief. Tomatoes in bed got a little fried but not too bad.
I was more than happy to spend my first return hours in the garden refreshing the beds and restoring any damage the heat had caused. We have also had forecasts that there is likely to be another surge of heat next week, so prevention of stress and protection of crops is utmost in my mind.
Couple of things showing signs of heat damage are:
The raspberries that didn’t have shade cloth protection are showing leaf burn but no die back.
Don’t underestimate the value shade offers!
We thought that someone had been in with a sprayer causing die back on the new grass that had been planted in the back yard. Was a bit baffled as to what could have caused this one section to die. This is the only section showing severe damage, the rest of the grass gets shade over many parts of the day so we wondered if it had been due to frying in the heat. Don’t underestimate the value shade offers! Look at the burnt grass line and look at the shade line. It is almost an exact line. Don’t think that is coincidental! AMAZING!
The lemon tree is showing signs of leaf burn. I will put some shade cloth protection around it for the remainder of the summer.
My ‘Snow White’ dwarf apple that went into the ground earlier this year (thank goodness) after being in a wine barrel for several years has some burning on the fruit. This is the first year it has fruited and it tastes darned good!
I’ve got so many things I need and want to list here but I have run out of puff tonight, time to pour a glass of wine and pretend I am still back at Pambula Beach (this photo is at Narooma though) enjoying the great Australian Landscape.