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41 Degrees (106)

mulched garden

It is tipped to reach 41°C today.  That’s 106°F for those of you in USA.  My garden will suffer. There is no way out of that.  There’s not much in the way of human food plants that are adapted to those kinds of temperatures.  A day or two here or there, we can cope.  But as it becomes the new normal, there’s a limit to resilience.

I have been watching and feeling for those of you in the south who have endured catastrophic fire weather over the last days.  I have a highly defensible house and many years experience in the local fire brigade, and I live in a community that up until recently would have trusted our ability to manage an emergency together. But our fire plan for catastrophic fire weather now is to not to be here.

Tackling the kind of bad habits and addictions that are disrupting the planet’s climate is hard and scary. Change always is. But how many heat waves, firestorms, floods, tornados, cyclones, tidal surges, droughts, food shortages, and extinctions add up to harder? and more scary?

I wrote a post this time last year about Surviving the Frizzle Weather.  This morning I will wet down the ground in the area where the chooks are, and make sure they have secure shade and water. At worst we’ll get wind with the heat and any jury rigged shade would just blow off. There’s not much more I can do, but birds have a higher body temperature than mammals, and feathers are good insulation both ways.

I’ve watered deeply over the last few days – we have better water storage these days – in other years I’ve just had to save the water for fire fighting and let the garden go. The garden is mulched deeply and planted with climbers with an eye to providing shade, especially from the west.  I’ve not planted out any seedlings in the last week. The plants in the photo are the babiest in the garden and they are advanced and established enough to have a chance.  I have another round of advanced seedlings in the shadehouse, ready to fill the gaps after this is over.

Stay safe everyone.  It’s now a cliche in these disaster prone days, but houses and gardens can be replaced

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • farmer_liz January 9, 2013, 9:01 am

    Good advice. Scary times ahead….

  • ronnie January 9, 2013, 10:04 am

    thinking of you today – we went through it yesterday here in far south coast NSW – including the RFS emergency SMS (what a wonderful service this is – an automated SMS is sent to the mobile phones of all the folk in potential fire-affected area which includes accurate, specific fire advice for your emergency)

    Our fire plan is to pack precious essentials and leave early – as you wisely advise – ‘houses and gardens can be replaced’

    take care xx

  • Louise January 9, 2013, 2:47 pm

    It is shocking isnt it? Today is our first day back in the 20s since Christmas Day. It has mostly been over 35 for all that time with the occasional drift into the 40s. Yesterday was our worst with Extreme fire rating. We left early and went to Wagga Wagga Library for the day to keep out of the way of the mater’s Gully/ Tarcutta fire. There I read a good slab of your book! Thanks for your inspiration and knowlege.

    Stay safe , and have you got a smart phone? There is a great app from the RFS called Fires Near Me.

  • Tracey January 9, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Hi Linda,
    My poor garden is struggling in the heat this year. I realised too late that my veg beds needed a lot more organic matter added to them this year, and with the added problem of having lost our bore water connection this year, they’re not happy plants. We’ll get a decent harvest, though not what I wanted. We live and learn! I’m off to check out your last post though for some more ideas.

    Speaking of ideas, just wanted to also let you know I’ve linked to your blog in a post I wrote today about sharing what we do as families and individuals to make the planet healthier. I’ve learnt that just by telling others about what we do, we extend the benefits of our efforts. I listed the most inspiring blogs that I read, the blogs that constantly give me new ideas, and yours is one. Thanks so much!

  • celia January 9, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Take care, Linda. xx

  • Linda January 9, 2013, 3:16 pm

    How did your garden survive Celia?

  • Terry January 9, 2013, 3:57 pm

    hi linda,
    hope your garden does okay. we had a similar day yesterday. I made little shade houses for my seedlings out of scrap timber. they dod okay, but got burn …

    bourke is expecting a 50 C day later this week ;((

    best, terry

  • Linda January 9, 2013, 4:11 pm

    Hi Terry, 50 degrees is the new temperature range that bureau of meteorology has been forced to introduce. I cannot imagine what that would be like.

  • Jason Dingley January 9, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Last summer I experimented with using sun flowers for shading the garden. It seemed to work well, they didn’t appear to effect the growth of plants beneath them, and they handled the heat as if they liked it. As a result I have planted them in every bed, along with a climbing bean to increase the shade density. So far it is working a treat, the resent heat wave has had little effect on the garden. And they look beautiful too, they are just starting to open.

  • Jane January 9, 2013, 6:38 pm

    Hope your garden survived Linda, our 36C seems tame in conparison, but its still a struggle to keep it going at this time of year.
    Jane In CQld

  • Liz January 9, 2013, 9:21 pm

    We’ve had a couple of 40 plus days this year and my garden has fared remarkably well – I think the afternoon shade from next doors (usually hated) trees is a useful thing after all…Hope it cools for you soon.

  • Sandy January 12, 2013, 11:14 am

    Its getting harder each day to help the garden hang in there. Everything is pretty well mulched like yours Linda and we are watering where we can, but being on tank water, you can’t go nuts. I’ve put up a few white lace curtains and they seem to be helping in those beds. But we and the plants just have to struggle through and try and recover as best we can.

  • Katie January 21, 2019, 11:49 am

    Great to see your new posts Linda. Struggling with the frizzle here on the Sunshine Coast too. I have a few green leafy things, spring onions and beans growing in boxes in the shade but otherwise just leaving the pumpkins and squash to do their thing with a bit of water occasionally. I’ve got snake beans climbing out of everywhere and just leaving them to dry out to make bean paste again as per your tortilla recipe. Thankfully the winds have changed, the sea is much calmer and the blue bottles have moved on so enjoying a swim in the sea again here.

  • Bella Wolf January 31, 2019, 12:18 pm

    Hi Linda I am teaching myself the arduous task of first time blogging & I am writing an article about my obsession with chook domes and kindly seek permission to link to your site and book in the article. I have published it for now so you can take a look and happy to make any changes required. Would love to send you an email with my details. Regards from Bella.

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