This evening I had a few tears. This morning we discovered that a fox - we guess it was a fox - had dug up two of the buried carp and the place stank. Then I got stinky dealing with the problem. This was done on a day that reached 38c with a dry north wind - it was still 38c at 5pm.
We spent the day inside with shutters down trying to stay cool - it was impossible. To add to the sense that the world is wonky, I have been suffering a lot of lower back pain and an exasperating rash caused by a new additive to a formerly reliable sun blockout. This and the heat and I have had hardly any sleep for days and I look and feel a mess.
At around 4pm I contemplated dinner and thought to pick a bounty of rocket and radish to have in a salad with shaved Parmesan - a lump of which was in the fridge as a Christmas gift. But the rocket and the radish sat flat on the ground as limp and exhausted as we were. I decided to do some strategic watering once the sun was off the plants to see what revived and also decided on what to save and what to sacrifice plant wise. You see it has been in the 30s since Boxing Day and we have all had enough - plants and humans (and Harriet cat). Things had been holding up quite well until today - today was breaking point, the north wind the tipping factor.
Tomorrow is said to be 41 and it will be in the 40s or high 30s each day for the foreseeable forecast. It is unusual I am told but this being our first year here we don't know. I guess it is possible it is unusual - the whole country seems to be excessively hot with even Hobart breaking all records today by going into the 40s. Hang in their Tasmania.
I decided to examine what was coping best and what looked like was past it. I decided to redistribute the mulch accordingly and re-allocate to those plants most likely to survive and offer produce. I pulled out a row of radish, mostly to eat but many to discard because they had got far too hot,
and picked as much rocket as we could eat and made the salad.
I piled up the mulch under the small number of beans of various sorts that hadn't been tip nipped and that were still erect after a week of heat. Suffice to say that the beans are largely buggered as Australians like to say and I had put so many beans in as a way of building soil fertility! I could show you pictures of those that were fading and got sacrificed but I decided I didn't want to do that, it had already induced tears and once was enough. Instead I have decided to show you what has survived the heatwave - so far at least - there is another week to go. The chillies are doing fine,
and my one padron plant has fruit.
The eggplant are indestructible as ever despite their wind whipping on the back of the ute to get here.
Surprisingly, the whole menu of cucurbits are having a great time. My baby cucumber plants - Space Master - are also resilient,
as are the Tigger melon and
the Baby Blue pumpkin.
I think the Musquee du Provence pumpkin despite its massive leaves will be ok.
Many of my tomatoes are suffering too much to produce, but the heat has sped up the ripening of my Green Zebra tomatoes which we may eat tomorrow night.
And as a distraction from all that has gone wrong, a frog has decided to join us on the verandah for the evening and amuse us with its antics.
Tomorrow, early, possibly as early as 5.30am we are going to do more mowing for mulch and fire protection.
I guess I will have to learn how to garden here and what is tough enough to take the hot years. I will get there I guess, it just seems a struggle right now, I guess more sleep will help.
What is surviving the heat in your patch? How are you helping things survive? What is suffering?
Hang in their other gardening Aussies - stay cool and away from the fires and may your beans grow and prosper and have abundant nitrogen-fixing root nodules.