Hottest Week in 100 years – Food Gardens will struggle for survival, as bushfire risk mounts

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The weather bureau is predicting the hottest week in Melbourne for 50 to 100 years this week. The last time there was more than two consecutive days over 40 degrees in Melbourne was exactly 50 years ago, in 1959.

This week 3 to 5 days in a row could hit over 40 degrees. (did someone mention climate change?), which could see  100 year records break.

Adelaide is  preparing for the same, and the two cities join Sydney, who has also experienced hotter than average temperatures over 40 degrees. It is also going to be the second driest January since records began 159 years ago. With fires raging in New South Wales,  bushfire across the south east of the continent are another major concern, with fires locally in Langwarrin and Carrum Downs in the last week exhibiting dangerous ferocity…

Links to Age articles here

Melbourne faces hottest week for 100 years

http://www.theage.com.au/national/melbourne-faces-hottest-week-for-100-years-20090126-7ppi.html

I am finding as much shade as possible, all my tender pot plants are around the house under shady areas, and i am going to put everything i can find to shade the plants in the vegie patch early tomorrow morning- chairs, tables, crates, shadecloth, sheets, I am going to put sheets up on the clothesline to sheild the garden near it. Luckily we re-mulched the garden this week.

After a milder spring and start to summer, annual vegetables and seedling perennials are not as adapted to the heat. A lack of wind is predicted, which reduces evaporation but is likely leading to the constant high temperature.

The dry heat is going to zap some plants, and the duration of the heat spell will likely damage productive capabilities of food plants, especially if severe wilting occurs.

A good soak before a heat spell reduces heat stress on the garden, though only half the gardens in any given street can legally water tommorow morning.

Water allocations would allow for an ecological response to the weather, rather than set watering times on specified days of the week , which seems to make it easier for the neighbours to dob you in. Frizzle fried vegetables in the garden will mean that all previous watering of plants killed in the coming heatwave will have been a waste.

Wise management of water this is not.

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~ by growingourown on January 27, 2009.

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