Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spontaneous Combustion

Here we are in the thick of July, and in my garden July means death. Now I realize that the calendar says June, but it must be July because it's hotter than hot, so clearly there has been some sort of atmospheric time and space mix-up. It can't only be June and be this hot. Because if it's June and it's this hot, what on earth will July and August be like?

Here's our thermometer at about 6:30 yesterday evening in the shade on our patio.


I'm afraid that this month's Garden Blogger's Death Day will be chock full of burned and badly scorched corpses. Because, honestly, it's too hot for me to even go outside and take care of the garden. It's so hot that we have heat warnings, which we never get here in Florida, because Floridians can handle the heat. But apparently even we can't handle this.

Take June 14th. Here was the temperature. Focus on the heat index - that's what it feels like outside once they factor in the humidity.


Then June 15th just before dinnertime. Again - the heat index. It's our version of wind chill.


We went out that night around 7:30 pm and came in before 8 pm because we were all so hot we were seeing stars and feeling sick. The heat index hadn't dropped below 100 degrees yet. The air is thick, soupy and stagnant from morning until night. There is no relief when the sun goes down.

The dogs don't want to go outside.

The boys really don't want to go outside, which is making for long summer days off school.

The chickens are panting non-stop. And I'm a little worried about them, but I'm sure if I keep their water topped up and bring them one cold treat a day, they'll get through this.

But their panting is quite pathetic to watch. Did you know they pant like dogs when they get hot?


You can hear their breathing, hot and heavy and loud.


You can see their little chicken tongues beating up and down.


It's really just too much for them. When they sit on their nest in their cozy little nest box, it's like an Native American sweat box and suddenly less appealing to them. Clementine is clearly not impressed.


Yes, that is Clementine laying an egg! She's back in the game!

So the last thing I'm able to do in this heat is keep up with the garden. I'm honestly afraid to have any metal garden tools that close to the tinder. One spark with a wreckless swipe of a hoe and it'd be curtains for the raised beds. And let's not forget we're under water restrictions, so we're really not *supposed* to water anything more than twice a week. I need to find something that can grow in hotter than hot, dry, baking sun, crispy soil, weather. And don't say okra - I tried it. It worked, but I don't like it. And don't say jalapenos, because I don't do spicey. Right now I'm leaning toward starting a cactus garden until Fall when I can try growing green things again.

20 comments:

Engineeredgarden said...

It's extremely hot here, too - and I sweat profusely while tending to the garden for 3 hours each evening. Like you said, it's really hard on the animals.

Susan said...

It has been unusually hot this summer. I'm hoping we get back into a normal rain pattern to help cool us off. In the meantime, I'm staying indoors as much as possible and working outside in short bursts. I hope your chickens will be okay.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

We occasionally roll over 100 on the mercury too, though not often. I don't see my chickens much when it gets that hot, they end up hiding in their sandpit under the coop the whole day. Our turkeys though aren't smart enough to seek shade, and do look ridiculous panting. I'm impressed Clementine is laying eggs in that heat. Our Buff Orps tend to go offline when the weather gets that hot. Hope you get a break from the heat soon!

Daphne said...

Well you are in Florida, you could try growing coconuts. Taro? Bananas? I hate the heat, but then I live in the north. Sadly that heat is coming up here tomorrow and Saturday. I loved this last week as we were mostly in the 70s. I can handle that.

Turling said...

We should start topping triple digits within the next fortnight. Luckily, we don't have the humidity. Maybe that's why everything still does well here without additional watering, which wouldn't make sense, because you would think the humidity would be helping with watering!

Erin said...

100's heat indexes here too, temps in the mid 90's. Ribbit called it "stupid hot" - exactly! I don't even want to go in the garden. I have had a pic in queue since last week waiting for GBDD! I'm getting real close to giving up the past 2 weeks!

Autumn Belle said...

Living in the tropics, we have used to the heat, all year round but some days are worse than others. Love your chicken and roaster pictures.

Meredehuit said...

I will not complain, I will not complain...it has been unseasonably cold here, last snow storm was May 25. I think I'd rather be cold than 100°. Hang in there! Love your chickens BTW :)

Ribbit said...

It's brutal here, too. I think you just need to change your mindset. Your June and July and August is like everyone else's December through February. That's when you pack everything up and call it a season and start again at the end of August since you can just about garden through the winter.

Kate and Crew said...

Ribbit - you know, I think you're right. I need to cut my losses and plan for Fall.

Sigh.

Truth hurts, but you're singin' it sista!

Annie's Granny said...

Clementine has the prettiest butt!

Kate and Crew said...

Granny - that is seriously the funniest thing I've read in awhile - LOLOLOLOL.

Robin said...

I certainly hope it cools off a bit for you down there. That's miserable weather!!

LGJ said...

I'm harvesting tomatoes, cucumbers, and some peppers and sometimes I'll water the wilted looking plants, but I try not to spend more than five or ten minutes gardening, max. I've decided the grass that started growing in and around the garden will be ignored because it's just too hot for me to care. Oh, with the cucumbers - we've been cutting the skins off because they're bitter because of the inconsistent watering. Just a tip in case you have some and they taste funky.

For the chickens - I know nothing of chickens, but could you put ice cubes in their water containers? The ice will melt fast enough but maybe it'll help cool them off?

Darla said...

It's like walking into a brick wall when you step outside. Air you can wear! We are having the "dangerous Heat" warnings here in North Florida too. If not for the swimming pool the kids would not go outside at all.

Melissa said...

Aren't they pitiful - poor chickens - panting and holding their wings out. We've got our chicken tractors and electronet fencing under the biggest trees - sacrificing grass for shade. I'm cutting my losses in the garden too - still babying the tomatoes and watching the okra flower (what gorgeous flowers) - but that is about all that is coping. Bring on the Fall!

Tricia said...

It is hotter than crap down in South Florida and my brother in law had to go by our retirement house to check the battery for our alarm system (wouldn't you know that Brinks ops Broadview would call him at 5 AM to tell him they were getting a low battery signal at our house) ROFLOL then he had to call ME because he could not remember what the Alpha Code was (LIKE helloooooooo get that paper out of your wallet and read it to them. Well any who he said it was like 104 there.

Would it hurt the girlz if you set up a misting things so they can run and play in the hose? Hehehe I can picture them running and clucking happily through the mist.

Kate and Crew said...

Tricia - LOL on the alarm. My mom's alarm company called HER the other night about a low battery at like midnight. Insane!

And yes, chicken misters are quite popular, but we don't have one and our hose doesn't stretch all the way out to where the chickens are. Even if we put about 4 hoses together (that's all of our hoses) I don't think we'd have enough to reach the chickens. They're doing okay but they do look pitiful :(

Tricia said...

KATE and CREW sorry your chickens are hot and miserable. In this heat I would be miserable too if I didn't have the AC cranked up to the max. Since we have not retired yet this fall my brother who is a plumber (yes yes YES) he is going to install hose spickets all over my yard for me. I want to put in a micro spray and drip systems on timers so I can FINALLY plant some flowers. When I finally get chickens then I will have a hose spicket near by.

By the way do you have a favorite chicken breed? Which lays the largest eggs or is the one with the sweetest personality? My hubby is just down right strange and I could never get him to eat a green or blue egg so those are just out of the running. I like the Brahma for looks.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Poor dears! I hope you have gotten some relief from the heat. I'm glad Clementine is back to laying eggs.

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