Day three of a week-long heat wave and the pumpkins seem to be holding up relatively well.
I have two varieties in - Butternut and Jap.
You might notice the bundle of shade cloth lying beside the pumpkin bed? That's why the pumpkins are surviving I think. Uncovered and I'm sure they'd fry! I have photographed the pumpkins in the early morning thus the shadow of the photographer (apologies!).
I am leaving the pumpkins uncovered until midday to allow any pollination to happen and then I cover them with a 90% shade cloth until about 8pm when they get uncovered again. That's the approach I'm taking anyway, let's see if this method works for the rest of the week. Temps are supposed to stay in the high 30s and low 40s until Saturday!
These two plants have started to develop little pumpkins.
Let's hope the shade cloths will enable these little fellas to continue their development.
Other pumpkin vines that were reasonably advanced during the last period of belting heat did not get the shade cloth treatment.
Sad specimens aren't they? They are still alive but have never recovered and are certainly not thriving enough to produce. The only reason I am leaving them in the ground is that at least they are providing some shade to the roots of a nearby apple tree.
The longer I garden the more I think that the oft said tip about vegetable gardening - the one that says 'plant your vegetable garden in full sun' - is just clearly wrong for an Australian summer. I find that most of the plants in the vegetable garden do so much better in considerable shade, especially when I can't freely water due to relying on tank water alone.
The photo below is of my haricot beans and cucumbers under a 90% shade cloth which remains on them all day. They are doing very well.
Even some of my chilli plants are benefiting with a little shade from an off-cut of a shade cloth.
The only plants that seem to actually thrive in the extreme heat and radiation are the eggplants.
These look to be in the shade but aren't. They are just a little shaded from the morning sun.
How is your garden surviving the heat wave? What things are you doing to protect your plants?
Stay cool SE Australia!