Saturday, June 30, 2018

Unbearable heat

A long weekend here with temperatures sitting in the mid 30's. A high of 36C today (96F) with high humidity making it feel more like 45C (113F). For Toronto, it's hot. And it's not balcony garden friendly either. It's also windy today which means late this afternoon the wind will be thrashing all my plants around causing lots of damage to delicate wilting leaves.

I keep everything well watered during hot weather but there is a danger of over-watering too. The containers are generally shaded, being on the balcony floor and out of the sun for most of the day. It's the plants themselves that get over-heated. So the roots will be cooler and have lots of moisture available, but the plant will not be able to suck moisture fast enough to stay cool and crisp. That's what causes the wilting. But seeing the plants wilt tricks nervous gardeners like me into watering them because it looks like they're thirsty. So I end up over-watering my plants which damages the roots and leads to all sorts of problems, including the plants looking like they need more water which just leads to even more over-watering.

Things are growing ok. Everything is pretty much on auto-pilot right now. Nothing big enough to need new support structures and I don't need to carry gallons of water out to the balcony every day. No major pests that I can see. One of the two radicchio plants is growing nicely but it's being crowded by the other one that isn't turning red or forming a tight head. I might need to pull the under-performer a little early to make space for the better one.

My tomatillo plants are putting out lots of flowers but no fruit yet. Too hot maybe, or too cold. Or something. Doesn't matter. Lots of time left for these plants. The box of dill and coriander I planted is coming along. It doesn't get much sun though. I need a new plant stand for this one. And my cucumbers are thriving. Lots of male flowers but I see some females getting ready to open. This heat might be too much for them though. I also agreed to let some of the basil leaves be picked. The plants will get much much bigger but we might as well enjoy some of it now before the spidermites get to it.

No comments: