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Extreme heat in Portugal and Spain  RSS feed

 
Posts: 211
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
14
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To members from Portugal and Spain - how are you coping with 45+ C temps?
What can one do to prepare?
How can people and field crops / vegetables / fruit best be kept in reasonably good shape?
Do you expect any long term damage on the plants that grow on your land?
If such weather events start repeating, what are your thoughts about upgrading your land / plants / house for that?
I'm in Slovenia which is outside of this event but will, I guess, not stay outside forever.
Thank you and best of luck to you in this crazy heat wave.

 
gardener
Posts: 2059
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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For other USA-ians like me, I looked up the conversion: 45c is 113F. Aaaah!

In the hot place I live, I’ve seen that temperature... once. Did not enjoy. Saw 109 already once this year. Likewise. So the topic is on my mind; monitoring thread with interest.
 
Posts: 533
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
5
forest garden greening the desert trees
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I'm not on the mainland and we have just had a very nice fairly cool  July, only hitting 30C for one day. Hoping for more of the same august, and the 14 day forecast is showing max 30.

We got 44C a couple of years ago and it's really tough. The difference between 42 and 44 is amazing, it's like you have just gone over the body's ability to cool as breeze doesn't help anymore, you just have to stay wet or be a wimp and use aircon. My advice to deal with high temps on a regular basis is to secure your supply of water and get ground/tree cover, with an eye to fire resistant varieties - yucca, prickly pear, agave amongst the more woody and flammable trees.

I don't think spain is seeing temps that are particularly unusual, but the UK has just had a massive heatwave seeing temps in the low 30s C, which is very unusual there.
 
Posts: 130
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
17
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Along the east coat of Australia, usually between Sydney and north of Brisbane, we typically get several summer days between 40 and, say, 46C.

We've found that any temperature above 38C it's nigh impossible to keep enough moisture up to most vegetable crops - the rate of evaporation is just too high. Also, our UV rates are also extreme.

It's got to the stage that we habitually give the vegetables a really good evening or early morning soak and cover them with shade cloth, old sheets/curtains, etc so they are 3-4 feet above the plants. Also drape the sides to prevent hot wind desiccating them.

The permaculture 'food forest' idea acts in a similar manner but isn't always practical.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Portugal
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Hi,

First time poster here.
I am in central Portugal near castelo Branco. We have our 3 th day of 43C ( 2 more to go )
I doubled the watering, when the sun goes down and again early in the morning. The plants are fine. The animals and myself suffer more.
( I do all my watering by hand, 1000l ibc and 2 watering cans, in between watering in refill the ibc with cool water from my shallow well and go sit next to it for the rest of the day )

Permaculture tricks used:

- mulching with straw, leaves and compost
- dense companion planting so the ground is shaded
- plant heat sensitive crops under olive trees and cork oak
- buried rotten wood beds and keyhole gardens

I am more worried about my animals and the wild fires...
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 211
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
14
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Thank you everybody for the replies.

Let me maybe recast the question.

What were the things that surprised you when the heat wave came - turned out differently than what you anticipated and will require some other approach in the future?

 
Posts: 27
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Hi, I am in central Portugal, between Coimbra and Viseu. Here the spring and summer was quite cold and with a sufficient amount of rain. The heatwave started just a few days ago, and the forecast is average summer weather (max around 30C is the long term average in july and august). for the coming weeks.

Last year was worse, worst! First a very dry spring and a very hot summer, then the wildfires of 15th october. At fogos.pt you can see a lot of fires at this moment too, but not around my area. I guess I am lucky now because the bad luck last year, alltough I still am a little concerned. A lot of people say after such a big fire it takes about 15 years to build up enough  material to give the next big fire a chance. But because of the great amount of ashes, in spring everything turned green, lots of fast growing weeds, and now those are mostly dead and dry, so maybe I still should be aware..

I started watering daily (yes that was not nescessary until a few days ago!), and I give more. Still some plants and little trees have a difficult time. I guess what I would do different next year, is even more mulch.. I also need a lot more shade, so that means I have to keep planting trees.

But like I said, temperatures are usually always high in summer here, so most plants and trees adapted to it, or are known for liking hot weather. So the mature trees (olive, orange, corkoak, pines, mimosa) that survived the fire still look nice and green, no stress.
 
Posts: 79
Location: Castelo Branco, Portugal
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Hi CRT,
well, two years ago i experimented 42 ºC in the south of Portugal and the feeling was horrible (dificulty to breath similar when it is too cold) but this time it has not been that hard even though we are having +40 ºC for several days now. There is a dust cloud coming from Africa so the sun is not that strong.
Well, for us the problem is the amount of sweat we produce, at 08 am i am sweating like crazy even with no efforts being made. The animals sleep all day almost. The plants (vegetables) are suffering a lot of course and like the other guy said, shade is necessary.
 
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