Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beating the Heat

As I write this at 6:20 a.m., it is already 70 degrees, and my part of Ohio is headed for a high of 100 to 104 degrees today, depending on who you ask.  A heatwave is upon us.

It is tempting to be more cavalier about a heat wave than about an ice storm (at least for me), but either temperature extreme can be equally challenging for your sustainable and frugal lifestyle.  So what are we to do?

First, shade your garden!  What you see at the right is Mr. FC&G's homemade sunshade for the cucumbers and the more delicate plants.  Luckily, most of our gardens get dappled shade in the heat of the afternoon, but this one corner gets full sun all day long.  That is nice for plant growth most of the time, but today it could be dangerous.  With some camo netting, a few posts, and an old chaise lounge (nice...), we have an ugly but serviceable sunshade.  And you know, I'll take shade over beauty all day long today.

Second, water your little darlings, but not in the heat of the day.  If you are reading this in the early morning, you may have a chance to sneak out and water some roots (not the leaves -- they'll burn), but if not, just remember to soak them really well tonight to prepare for tomorrow.  Feel free to laugh at the neighbors watering their grass -- today is all about keeping the crops happy.  Brown grass just means less mowing.

Third, move your container garden.  I juggled mine around a bit last night since I anticipate being at a client meeting off-site all day, but Mr. FC&G is home and may pull some of the delicate container plants into the sunroom where they can enjoy the shade.

Finally, take care of you.  I'll spare you the common sense recommendations to be sure to drink lots of water and avoid outdoor exercise.  However, remember that today is all about keeping your AC running, so try to put as little stress on the rest of your electrical load as possible.  Today is not your day for laundry, baking, extra task lighting, or anything else.  Put the air on the highest level you find comfortable, go to the coolest room of the house, and make yourself a nice glass of iced tea.  And then just wait out the heat wave, like you'll be waiting out the inevitable ice storm come February.
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