In the garden: January 2009 update.

Posted Mon, Feb 2 2009 13:42 by bill

Last week I posted my “In the garden” post for January: that was before the heat wave came and hit. Since then we had record high temperatures for here, up to 45 C (113 F). We had three days in a row of above 43 C temperatures (above 110 F), and the night time temperatures were about the usual daytime max !  Lots of the state faced power blackouts, as the demand for cooling sky rocketed.  The damage done to crops was significant.  a lot of grape harvests are ruined; for some wineries there will be no 2009 vintage. (a good time to stock up on 2008’s)

Here a lot of my plums shrivelled under the heat and apples suffered severe sunburn.  On the positive side of that, nashi and the apples look like they will all come in earlier this year. I was eating some of the nashi yesterday.. they’re small, but beginning to ripen.   The apples probably needed some thinning anyway, so although there’s a lot of damage, I’m hopefully there’ll still be some quality harvest from them.

The veggie patch weathered a bit better. There’s some damage to the male kiwi fruit, but it is still healthy. the early crop of snow peas has dried up, but that’s good as I was about to leave what was there for seed anyway.  I had to pick a lot of beans as they had grown too rapidly, and I harvested half of the broad beans yesterday as well. The broad beans were still good, but some of the pods had suffered from the heat.  And the zucchini of course decided it was time to make baseball bat sized fruit overnight <g>  The good from this was I dug up some of the potatoes as well, and there was plenty of veggies from the harvest for the locals :)  Other plants like the cucumbers seem to have thrived from the heat and I hope to harvest the first cucumbers within days.  Prior to his heat wave it had been on the cold side, and crops like the cucumbers weren’t doing much. I guess that’s a positive of diversity.

The heat also made some animals slower, so easier to take photos of.  Like the yellow tailed black cockatoos I posted pictures of the other day.  I also managed to get some photos of some butterflies :


The common brown butterfly (well more orange than brown if you ask me <g>),
Heteronympha merope merope: 


And the cabbage white butterfly :


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