Hotter than hot!

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:

deckboxes

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.

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4 Responses to “Hotter than hot!”

  1. Bloggers manage in the Heat | Garden Gab Says:

    […] is suffering in the heat in Melbourne too… This post has some very positive words on Wicking […]

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  2. Bloggers manage in the Heat | Garden Zones Says:

    […] is suffering in the heat in Melbourne too… This post has some very positive words on Wicking […]

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  3. donna Says:

    I too found wicking boxes were not affected (they are under a pergola) while fruit and vegie cooked on trees and vines in the garden. I despair about growing things in the future.

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  4. foodnstuff Says:

    Hi Donna, thanks for the comments. I’m glad your wicking boxes are doing well too. I think they are the way to go, especially for small gardens and patios.

    The future IS worrying I agree, but we can only do our best. Water tanks will be a must for anyone seriously growing food at home. We simply can’t (and shouldn’t) rely on ‘the system’ to provide for us. It is in its present state of collapse because it is simply unworkable.

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