Saturday, July 12, 2008

Oh the heat!

"We go in withering July
To ply the hard incessant hoe;
Panting beneath the brazen sky
We sweat and grumble, but we go."
- Ruth Pitter, The Diehards

Well if the last few weeks are anything to go by , 35 degrees in the shade!, then we are in for a real scorcher of a July and we need to think seriously, for the garden and ourselves, of how to beat the heat! A few small steps can make all the difference.
Watering now everyday or second day can be tiring, time consuming and more importantly, costly! The best advice I can give is to water your plants deeply and less frequently. Regular hoeing and mulching will help retain moisture all over the garden and in your pots and tubs too.

We have a large plastic tub outside the kitchen door and every time I need to empty the washing up bowl I do so into it .Then at the end of every evening I water the flowers in turn with it. Water butts like this are a great way to conserve water and it’s a good idea to place them beneath your overflow pipes so when you are blessed with rain you can capture as much of it as possible!

Water at the coolest part of the day ideally around 8pm in the evening. Not only is there less chance of evaporation but it gives all the plants time to recuperate overnight and feel the full benefit of the water.
We also need to look after ourselves.
Some of you may have heard of the old Ozzy saying ‘Slip-Slop-Slap' slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat". Drink plenty of water. On average the recommended daily minimum is 2 litres but add another litre for each hour that you work out in the heat of the sun. Also remember we are all different and a high metabolism requires a higher intake of water. Take regular breaks in the shade to relax and sleep if your body tells you to.
Remember we need to keep cool and refreshed as we too can lose moisture rapidly and start to wilt!

Dry and hot it maybe but it's business as usual in the garden.....and still having to find time to harvest the crops...
The haricot beans have been picked and are drying out with the late onion crop.

I just love the colours of these beans...

The blackberries are ripening...we picked 5lbs of fruit yesterday and that's just first pick...

Peggy and I taking time in the shade...don't know which one of us looks the most exhausted!...


..and Vladi well he's more sensible, lying in the cool of the house....