Well, we’ve just been through four days of 40+ temperatures here in Melbourne and there’s not a single food plant that isn’t either comatose or sporting crisp brown leaves.
So, as I said in the previous post, I need to completely rethink food growing in the summer.
The water-wicking boxes, which were doing fine after the first day of 41 C, suffered least in the heat. There are two beside the deck which get morning sun and afternoon shade and I didn’t bother to cover them with shadecloth. They were fine. The three down the back in full sun containing french beans were covered in mosquito netting and the only leaves that were burned were a couple that poked themselves out of the netting. Today I picked a kilo of beans from them.
So it looks like wicking boxes are the way to go for summer vegetables, providing I can give them shade in extreme conditions like we’ve just had.
Here are the two boxes beside the deck—capsicums on the right & Roma tomatoes on the left:
The wicking boxes are sitting up on white polystyrene fruit boxes to keep them away from the rabbits. The 60 litre rubbish bin on the right holds water which I use to water the boxes. I’m going to try growing potatoes in these deeper bins this season and probably some of the larger indeterminate tomatoes such as Grosse Lisse. I can forsee summer vegetable growing being almost entirely containerised in future, because watering is so easy and all the water goes exactly where it’s needed.
That will free up my (very slow) sprinkler system from the tank to water the fruit trees and shrubs, which were neglected this summer.