Thursday, 29 January 2009 the heatwave continues

I am very impressed as to how the vegie garden is looking and proves that all the quality compost and biodynamic methods really pay off big time in extreme conditions.-or maybe they are more noticeable then.
Although the hills are cooler – This week so far 34, 42. 45 today is about the same if not hotter than yesterday with no relief in sight.Actually at present its 44.

Only the January planting have been covered. I use light weight curtains & old sheets over ¾ Polly hoops. They are held on by pieces of ¾ polly cut down the middle. I find this much better than shade cloth which is heavy and needs more supports.

From Jan- March the monthly plantings are usually covered to aid germination & to keep the blackbirds from scratching them up .Once germinated the covers are removed but this week I have been covering during the day and removing them in the late afternoon. They are all looking good.

I have just continued my routine weekly watering program – each bed is watered once a week with micro sprinklers and the watering is spaced out over the week taking advantage of early mornings and late afternoons/evenings, I can do this as we have our own water supply. 10-15 minutes of water for each bed is sufficient for the week- so it is very efficient. Seeds need to be watered twice a day for around 3-5 min until germinated and then daily for the next week, every 2-3 days til established then once a week after that.
The hot weather as helped the tomatoes, capsicums and cucumbers power on and ripen although some tomatoes in the tunnel house got burnt (often it takes forever to get things ripe in the garden so we need so in there) I dread to think hot it got in there yesterday.

Majority of the ornamental gardens are never watered in summer save for a ‘green’ zone around the house for fire safety and house cooling. This means the new herb garden is being watered so doing well.

On total fire ban days we stay indoors, listen to the radio and monitor conditions hourly, this includes refreshing all water bowls and birdbaths, checking the poultry and dogs that remain on fox duty as at these times attacks are more likely. Plus checking for smoke.
Today of all days I had to pick up 10 pullets we had ordered, I got them home quickly and installed in their new pen – now they have settled in. Unfortunately last week the large twisted willow that shaded the west wing pens crashed in half with both halves on the ground leaving the pens exposed. I’ve put up some shade cloth and hession and the pens are fitted with misters so they are relativity cool although not as cool as the pens under the oak tree. You really feel the difference when you walk under any of the large oaks.
Lets hope the heatwave passes without too much drama and we can get things done work in the gardens and orchards.

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