News from the desert

The last few days have been so hot, nothing has been done down the allotment. The heat has been intense with temperatures above 30 degrees.

Most of the plants on site are managing with careful watering. The levels of water in the water butts is dropping dangerously low. I have been regularly watering Sophie’s olive tree and Phil’s fig tree in the community garden. The fig tree has perked up but it looked very sorry for itself with wilting leaves yesterday.

Cliff and a few others have topped up the water in the pond as it had dropped several inches in the last month or so. Unfortunately, I found two fish floating at the surface of the pond yesterday. It seems like the oxygen level in the water is still too low. Geoff has been on the case and has ordered a battery powered pump which should oxygenate the water better.

The chickens are enjoying their dust baths in this heat and seemingly unlimited supply of dust and dry soil. They are enjoying sleeping outside rather than in the nest box. I have propped open the lid to try to get some air circulating inside the box. I am not sure it will make any difference but it’s the thought that counts. I spotted a few stray mites on the outside of the coop beneath the perch. I doused the perch and roof with anti-mite spray. It will need to be repeated over the next couple of days to get rid of any survivors.

The bees have been busy and the two hives which have been struggling have been re-Queened. Steve and Phil ordered two new Queens online. They arrived in two small traps with a couple of worker bees. They put each one in the hives and left them to eat their way through the trap. The next few days will hopefully see the new Queens settling in and starting to lay.

The general consensus at the clubhouse is that it’s way too hot to do anything.

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