It started on Friday with 36C yesterday was 38C, New Years Eve and Day are set to hit 40C followed by some relief down to 37/8C but back to 40C by next weekend.
Early morning starts are called for in the garden and with light at 6am and 21C that's the time to be out there. By 9am it's getting hot and 10am it's way too hot at 36C to be outside.
This morning I emptied the chook pergola of another load of chook mulch and spread that around the garden to help the plants survive another sweltering day.
This meant refilling the pergola area with a bag of shredded paper and a bale of straw, the chooks happily scratch their way through this to get to the damp earth below where all the bugs and worms live.
I needed to top up the fish pond, again, with tank water and have put up shadecloth on the western side to cut down the sun's evaporative force. At least the fish are happy!
The newly planted carrots have been covered with an old curtain and it's helping to keep the soil moist while they germinate. I found another piece of curtain to cover the lemon tree that is coping well in the heat but I don't want it to stress too much.
The Silverbeet and Cucumbers love their 70% shadecloth cover on Bed 3 and are thriving on only two waterings per week...although they might need more with the heat this week!
I've added yet more shadecloth to bed10 where newly planted Beetroot seedlings needed extra shade.
It's weeks like these, although early this year, that are a trend of our summers after the solstice. This is why we have so many shadecloth structures. From the first over the Tank Beds in the Dog Pen area to the new gourd wicking-worm bed this year!
Despite this additional pieces of shade cloth still get put up on these hot days. In the Dog Pen Garden beds where the Sweetcorn was battling the western afternoon heat and as an emergency cover for a tray or two of cuttings.