Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Hot tips...

1) If temperatures soar, one can always throw dignity to the wind and park one's bum in the neighbourhood creek (can you spot the Koala in the centre of the photo at Morialta Falls in the Adelaide Hills?)

2) Now's a good time to sort through the leaf litter and clean up snails and slugs before winter comes. Here's 'Russell' the blue-tongue lizard - Tiliqua scincoides scincoides - on patrol in the veggie patch. Apparently he's a 'skink', not a real 'lizard', but we like him 'cause he's a slow and careful worker in the pest-extermination business, active in warm weather. He just needs shelter in the former of old boards leaning against stone walls, rock piles etc.

3) Heat-waves are a good time to test which beans work best in your garden. There's no vegetable more miserable than beans when it comes to heat and wind! Among the bush beans, 'Redland Pioneer' is doing the best, putting out shoots in this past week and starting to flower. 'Strike' and 'Gourmet Delight' are holding their own in the heat, but 'Windsor Long-Pod' has turned-turtle and curled up - perhaps it prefers an English climate? I'm growing out the last of Kate's scarlet runner-bean seeds, and they've buckled at the knees through the heatwave, despite plenty of water and partial shade. 'Lazy Wife' beans are climbers, and they're in the hottest part of the garden and still OK. Now that is a great bean!

4) Egg-plants, capsicum, basil and rocket are doing beautifully in half-shade; they face east, and are protected from the worst of the afternoon sun by the orange and lemon trees behind them.

5) Be grateful for those things that the garden does provide. Every set-back holds some lesson.
I'm thinking that the hot weather might continue well into Autumn, so I'm planting more tomato seeds directly along the fence-line; perhaps I'll be enjoying those in salads after growing them in the shoulder-season rather than through the full heat of summer? Yellow tomatoes seem especially frost-resistant.


Kate said...

Yes, the runner beans are more for a cooler climate.... anywhere is cooler than S.A. this summer!

I love the photo of the koala... people here in France will think it hilarious just as they thought it hilarious when I photographed frost!

Theresa said...

"Every set back holds some lesson." This is good advice indeed!

Those peaches look divine; and I had no idea yellow tomotoes are more frost resistant - that will help me a lot here in my northern Canada climate - thanks!