Mr Medved

Heatwaves suck!

28 posts in this topic

So I got home yesterday after work and a 43 degree day to find my poor tomato plants fried quite severely. Interestingly one of the species (can't remember which) seemed to handle the heat better than the others but that may have been because of their position (partially shaded). My tomatoes only receive a half day of sun so I can't imagine what it would be like for plants in open fields. shocking.gif

The capsicum plants looked wilted but after a drink and a cooler night they look fine; same with the cucumbers. My strawberries are generally holding up well in the heat though surprisingly the raspberries didn't look all that happy yesterday.

Anyone else's plants suffering from the heat? Which plants have you found survive the heat well? What measures have you taken to mitigate the worst of the really hot days?

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I lost a geranium, of all things. Had one of my proteas quite severely burnt (it is a soft, light grey one) but the other (yellow and red) is fine. I have lomandras and dianellas and they are loving the heat, as are my figs, a grape vine that grows a foot each day, and zucchinis. Geraniums are all over the place, some are doing really well, some are quite shrivelled. Tomatoes are fine. Cabbages are ... sad. Most of the stuff I have planted is pretty tough but young so not really liking the hot weather.

We haven't got to 43 in this heatwave, we were hovering around 38 for most of it. Its 20 out there now and glorious :)

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So I got home yesterday after work and a 43 degree day to find my poor tomato plants fried quite severely. Interestingly one of the species (can't remember which) seemed to handle the heat better than the others but that may have been because of their position (partially shaded). My tomatoes only receive a half day of sun so I can't imagine what it would be like for plants in open fields. shocking.gif

The capsicum plants looked wilted but after a drink and a cooler night they look fine; same with the cucumbers. My strawberries are generally holding up well in the heat though surprisingly the raspberries didn't look all that happy yesterday.

Anyone else's plants suffering from the heat? Which plants have you found survive the heat well? What measures have you taken to mitigate the worst of the really hot days?

We put up shade cloth over our vege patch. You don't get the leaf burn at least but the tomatoes still get knocked around. Plenty of water in the morning. Not much else you can do. We do have a bunch of other tomatos and herbs in pots (on wheels) so you can shift them into more protected areas in super hot weather. They are doing better. The rest of my garden is native and loves the heat. (callistemon, grevillea etc)

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That heatwave was a shocker!

My garden is heavily mulched with pea-straw which helps a lot, though. I get it in bulk from a guy with a shredder, it is much easier to spread that way. Tomatoes came through fine, without shade but with a heavy watering the night before the heat got bad. Capsicums went well. Rockmelon absolutely loved it, grew heaps and even set some fruit in the heat (I thought fertilisation stopped over a certain temperature).

Herbs and onions etc all loved it except for the golden shallots which have burnt off completely, but as they die back around now or a little later I am not fussed.

Two of my four citrus tree sulked, curling leaves and going a little yellow, strangely they are the older, well established ones. They have done this before in really hot weather, tho', and I know they will come good. It might be due to the on-going total lack of sub-soil moisture.

I found a lot of the garden plants didn't cope with the heat, even really tough stuff like day lilies and iris have yellowish scorched leaves, which is pretty unusual. My dianella all curled their leaves up during the heat but look fine now. The native stuff really is better adapted for heatwaves. The lilypillies even put out tender new growth which I was sure would burn off, but no, it looks great.

The downside of all the mulch is an increase in earwigs - a bug I never really noticed or cared about before getting into mulching in a big way. Now I find the little suckers everywhere and they eat tomatoes, strawberries and the new growth of almost anything. Eventually a balance will be struck, but it might take a while. Some earwig predator will build up numbers, I just need to be patient...

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The downside of all the mulch is an increase in earwigs - a bug I never really noticed or cared about before getting into mulching in a big way. Now I find the little suckers everywhere and they eat tomatoes, strawberries and the new growth of almost anything. Eventually a balance will be struck, but it might take a while. Some earwig predator will build up numbers, I just need to be patient...

I recall reading about how you can create an earwig trap using an old plastic container and a little bit of oil. I haven't tried it as my current residence is almost 100% paved. Possibly a better alternative if possible is to have chickens - I assume they would eat them (though could be wrong).

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Chooks do eat them but they'll scratch your garden to a complete mess and eat your plants too. Mine have taken a shine to a HUGE bush that is about 3m high/wide and are turning it into a skeleton.

Ant killer gets rid of them a bit, and if you've got lots of free time, scrunched up paper tucked into something like an empty pot attracts them and then you bin the paper the next day.

Personally I've just let them eat the plants they want to eat and am sticking with ones they don't like.

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Personally I've just let them eat the plants they want to eat and am sticking with ones they don't like.

Yep, that's the approach I'm going to take.

Anything else would be too labour intensive, and I am also trying to reach a zen-like tranquility about gardening in general so that I don't go spare over things that can't be helped, like drought and earwigs (and possums, sorry Tor but they ain't ever gonna be my friends).

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Darwinian gardening :)

The garden at my old house had a major earwig problem, and with no mains water it didn't get watered. Ever.

It is mostly lamb's ears, rosemary, roses, geraniums, lomandra, thyme, pig face, jelly bean plants, bear's breeches and daisies (the bush kind with poofy flowers - margharite?). Pine trees and pepper trees grow better than gum trees for some reason - I was always having the gum trees eaten by various pests and gave up on them. I planted about 50 bottle brush but only one survived, a really lethally sharp spikey one. All my tank bases got covered in a thick layer of voilets - condensation on the tanks being the cause. Yard is zero maintainance besides pruning a few cubic metres off the biggest rosemary each year and keeping the weeds down.

Doesn't look too bad either, all those plants have various shades of pink and purple flowers.

The guide to earwigproofness is the stinkier the plant, the better it will do. Go sniff a rosemary or pepper tree sometime - the oils are far more concentrated if they don't get watered. All my earwig proof geraniums were the sticky, highly scented ones. And bears breeches is just completely indestructable. Most essential oils are actually quite toxic if they are neat.

Search for the common names on the photographic dictionary to see what they look like :)

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I think a lot of plants have evolved via earwigs and similar to exude various toxic oils and chemicals as a deterrent.

presumably all the plants that are getting eaten evolved in earwig-free environments, introduced in one place from all over the world now.

similarly, heat waves causing mass die-offs of plant life also cause mass extinctions, and most species simply don'thave the time or ability to migrate when major climate change occurs. the one tomato plant strain that survived would go on to propagate.

however, i note immediately after a couple of hot days, we're back to 20 deg C and rain, including flooding in SA etc

the question is whether GW is real or not.

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however, i note immediately after a couple of hot days, we're back to 20 deg C and rain, including flooding in SA etc

I think we got about 5-10cm of rain in the 2 hours I spent sitting in the doctor's office (yes, the office not the waiting room - weird) with Tantrum Girl at naptime on Tuesday. The rain was very polite and didn't get me wet on the way there or back.

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however, i note immediately after a couple of hot days, we're back to 20 deg C and rain, including flooding in SA etc

the question is whether GW is real or not.

I think it's important to distinguish between weather and climate change. Increased frequency of heatwaves over time could be counted as evidence but not a few hot days. Long term trends versus short term anomalies.

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I went to my bank manager on Wednesday are asked for 5M to build a ski run with T bars etc and gondolas near my place in Cairns and he told me to f*ck off.

I showed him my 1hr currency charts and trading tactics with profit v loss and he was impressed I then showed him my long term climate chart and then he grew cool (my tinfoil hat may have thrown him)....

post-103-1263665343693_thumb.jpg

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The downside of all the mulch is an increase in earwigs - a bug I never really noticed or cared about before getting into mulching in a big way. Now I find the little suckers everywhere and they eat tomatoes, strawberries and the new growth of almost anything. Eventually a balance will be struck, but it might take a while. Some earwig predator will build up numbers, I just need to be patient...

We used to feed earwigs to tortoises.

I don't think that is going to help you though... Makes it fun when you see an earwig though, throw it in the water with the tortoise and watch it try to swim.

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We used to feed earwigs to tortoises.

I don't think that is going to help you though... Makes it fun when you see an earwig though, throw it in the water with the tortoise and watch it try to swim.

What a bloody brilliant idea!

I had a tortoise who was a sluggish eater, apart from one or two treat foods he was slow to eat and needed to see his food wriggle - I never thought of feeding him earwigs, they would have been perfect.

He and I parted ways long ago, though - he is safely living in a mobile schools educational program now, being spoilt rotten and hopefully helping kids understand there is more to the world than just themselves.

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What a bloody brilliant idea!

I had a tortoise who was a sluggish eater, apart from one or two treat foods he was slow to eat and needed to see his food wriggle - I never thought of feeding him earwigs, they would have been perfect.

He and I parted ways long ago, though - he is safely living in a mobile schools educational program now, being spoilt rotten and hopefully helping kids understand there is more to the world than just themselves.

The cycle of life.

I had an issue with snails at my last rental which just dissapeared. I discovered as we packed up why the problem had gone away. We had a rat living in the back shed. I had not been in there for two maybe even three months, yes I have a bloke mow my lawn for me and there was also a second shed.

Anyway the rat had been eating snails, there were shucked snail shells all over the place in there. At least hundreds if not thousands of them.

You just have to decide how far up the food chain you want to entertain in your garden. I guess after rodents, you would get snakes?

Anyway suffice to say I would prefer the snails to a rat. I knew the thing was in there as soon as I walked in from the smell, it smelled like a barn. When I started taking things out of the box which was clearly its home I still freaked out when he jumped out of the fishtank light which I was turning over to find him! I was completely paralysed, just let him scamper out under the sheds wall.

Anyway I reckon a rat would also clean up your earwig problem. lol.

I am actually seriously thinking now that there would be an Australian marsupial equivalent to a rat that would be a great addition to any backyard. I guess the problem is the short lifespan and cats.

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Anyway I reckon a rat would also clean up your earwig problem. lol.

If you want to be rid of earwigs, buy yourself a pair of Guinea Fowl, They won't scratch up your garden and they love earwigs. They also make great security sensors and put up a great noise should any strange animal or person enter their domain, their only downside is that they do wander over a large area, and can fly like pigeons should they feel the need.

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You just have to decide how far up the food chain you want to entertain in your garden. I guess after rodents, you would get snakes?

...

I am actually seriously thinking now that there would be an Australian marsupial equivalent to a rat that would be a great addition to any backyard. I guess the problem is the short lifespan and cats.

There is a native australian rat which is apparently much nicer. Also when the imported one (norwegian brown?) is eradicated and the native comes back it keep the imported one out.

I had mice for a bit. Then they went away. I assume I have snake(s) now.

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I had mice for a bit. Then they went away. I assume I have snake(s) now.

Hehehe.

Could be a cat!

Its like that old joke.

We don't have any sharks in the river anymore.

The crocs ate em all.

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If you want to be rid of earwigs, buy yourself a pair of Guinea Fowl, They won't scratch up your garden and they love earwigs. They also make great security sensors and put up a great noise should any strange animal or person enter their domain, their only downside is that they do wander over a large area, and can fly like pigeons should they feel the need.

http://www.peacocksaustralia.com/guineafowl.html

After a bit of research they do look like the goods if you have the room.

I like the idea of them also keeping snakes away on top of pests.

They do seem hard to find though. I don't have enough room I suspect, and with the golfcourse behind it would be all too likely they would just roam off down the fairway but they do look like the goods if you have the room.

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I had mice for a bit. Then they went away. I assume I have snake(s) now.

We used to get mice a lot as a kid. To be fair to rats, at least they stay out of your home for the most part and smell less than mice. They don't look real flash though...

I use those humane traps on mice at home and they work better than the snap traps anyway. I just wish I had a snake to feed them to, but then again supposedly you are not meant to feed pet snakes wild mice, only the bred ones / disease free ones.

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I just wish I had a snake to feed them to, but then again supposedly you are not meant to feed pet snakes wild mice, only the bred ones / disease free ones.

It was explained to me that live food, rats in particular, were a problem because they fight and injure the snake, which is not used to dealing with unwilling food. I think snakes hunt by ambushing prey, usually at night, not facing it in a small or bright environment.

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http://www.peacocksa...guineafowl.html

After a bit of research they do look like the goods if you have the room.

I like the idea of them also keeping snakes away on top of pests.

They do seem hard to find though. I don't have enough room I suspect, and with the golfcourse behind it would be all too likely they would just roam off down the fairway but they do look like the goods if you have the room.

I have the same problem as yourself, in that I have close neighbours, but a mate of mine has them on several acres, and although they do roam a bit, they always return home to roost.

They are bits of characters and very nosy. If you work in the garden, they will often close in around you to watch what you are doing. I wish I had the room to keep them myself.

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http://www.peacocksaustralia.com/guineafowl.html

After a bit of research they do look like the goods if you have the room.

I like the idea of them also keeping snakes away on top of pests.

They do seem hard to find though. I don't have enough room I suspect, and with the golfcourse behind it would be all too likely they would just roam off down the fairway but they do look like the goods if you have the room.

Guinea fowl are not especially hard to find, but they are noisy. So the people who mostly keep them are not living in the suburbs.

Popeye's right - You probably wouldn't lose them if you fed them every day - they are reputed to be fiercely territorial, even if their idea of a territory may not exactly match up with your fence lines.

We were going to get some a while ago, ended up with peacocks instead - beautiful but useless, and also noisy but in a different way.

They used to come into the house and sit in a line on the back of the sofa. Looked like they were watching the TV. We never did work out what the attraction was, as we did not encourage them.

Eventually they had to go - lack of road-sense and those screams late at night did for them in the end.

Edited by Ruffian

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I reckon the best way to help your garden from heatwaves is to try and putshade or shelter above the garden.

It also helps to put an automated watering system to ensure that the plants remain hydrated throughout the day

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I reckon the best way to help your garden from heatwaves is to try and putshade or shelter above the garden.

It also helps to put an automated watering system to ensure that the plants remain hydrated throughout the day

Be careful watering plants during the day.

You can scald or boil them.

Always make sure you run the hose out of hot water, before watering.

Early morning and/or later in the evening is best.

Roses or other hardy shrubs are best in the morning.

It is also better to water the soil around the roots rather than the leafy cover.

This is a more sustainable system in extreme heat or dry.

Leafy vegetables and herbs are very fragile, and very susceptible to heat stress, so you may need to shade them as mattau suggests.

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