Too much sun?

The weather gurus are saying that 2007 was the hottest year on record for Victoria and it ended with the hottest day of the year—41 deg celsius. Plants just can’t stand these temperatures; even though the soil is moist, the tender top leaves wilt and shrivel, crumbling into dry flakes when touched. The vegetable garden, which looked so good a few weeks ago, is looking decidedly tired; likewise the gardener.

So I need to rethink the old idea that vegetables need to be grown in full sun and provide some sort of dappled shade for them, preferably in the form of deciduous fruit trees which will provide an edible resource rather than some artificial structure which wont. At the moment, the fruit trees are separate from the main garden. The idea of a ‘food forest’ which mimics a natural forest with its layered vegetation structure, has a lot of merit. The taller trees provide shelter and shade for the smaller shrubs and ground layer.

In winter though, full sun is needed, so it means having an open sunny area for winter vegetables and another, more shaded site for summer. 

A new plan is needed. Something to think about when I lie awake at night.

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One Response to “Too much sun?”

  1. Di Tod Says:

    Hi, our experiences of the schorched earth veggie garden mirrors yours and we have both a south facing summer veggie bed and a north facing winter one, but are planning to grow deciduous trees in the north facing one so we can use it for both winter and summer vegetables. If we plant decidous trees, they’ll be bare in winter and cooler and shadier in summer, obvioulsy, tho’ the roots’ll pose an interesting dilemma.

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