The recent wet and mild conditions have been a boon to most gardens – as well as the weeds! In October, we had around 147mm of rain which is 86% above the long-term average of 78.9mm. Our annual rainfall to date is about 80mm above the long term average.
We have had milder than normal nights and relatively warmer days. Frosts have been few around Daylesford and District. I have my first tomato formed on a plant that is 105cm high thanks to the mild conditions and planting early September in my greenhouse.
What is the longer-term forecast? La Nina continues to provide conditions which are expected to be wetter than normal for most of Australia. Temperatures are expected to be warmer across November to February, both days and nights. It is timely to clean the filters on air conditioners and to assess how you can keep your home cool. Of course, be careful getting to the filters and get help if needed.
There are a number of Australian web sites that you can look at to get helpful hints on keeping cool. Many do not involve significant expenditure. Simply opening windows and doors to create a cross breeze evenings and mornings and closing window coverings in the evening for windows which get the morning sun can make a difference. Lots of other ideas such as using fans and creating outside shading with plants or blinds can also assist.
Another important consideration as we head into Summer is the UV levels which are increasing. It is important to cover up and use sunscreen. You can keep an eye on UV levels with the SunSmart App https://www.sunsmart.com.au/tools/interactive-tools/free-sunsmart-app This will allow you to better know when to cover up and when it is safer to dress down.
The bees and the frogs are very happy this year…
Victor Szwed is a Daylesford resident. He contributes a monthly weather article to The Wombat Post.