Ongoing climate confusion

Mar 28 2012 0 Comments Tags: climate, garden

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I'm trying to figure out what to grow over winter here in Nanango.

I've mentioned before that the climate here is confusing!  Over summer we have daytime temperatures of up to the high 30degC, afternoon storms and high humidity, with night-time temperatures in the high 20degC (if we're lucky!).  Its almost a sub-tropical wet season, rather than summer.

Around this time of year though the climate changes dramatically.  We still have 30degC days, but overnight the temperatures can be as low as 10-15degC.  As winter approaches the daytime temperature will get down to mid-20degC, but overnight we can expect frosts.  The strangest part is that the frost is very much location dependent.  Our neighbours did not suffer from frost last year as their house is at the top of the hill, but we are down lower on the hill and cold air being dense tends to roll down the hill, so we had some severe frosts.

Our winter is then a real temperate, or at least mountain, winter.  This means that we can't really grow tropical plants here through winter, as they don't survive the frost, but temperate plants don't do well through the hot humid summer!  I am still coming to terms with our confusing climate!

I have now realised that around this time of year I need to stop looking at the sub-tropical climate chart, and start looking at the temperate winter chart to work out what to grow.  In spring I can return to sub-tropical to decide what will grow through summer.

Our aquaponics greenhouse will help to smooth out our climate as some of the tropical plants can hang out in the greenhouse to survive the frost, and we can still grow the cold climate plants outside.  I hope this will lead to a greater range of plants that we can grow throughout the year.

I'm really jealous when I read about US gardeners who seem to have a very comprehensive system of zoning to help identify climate zones, whereas ours here in Australia seems to be a little vague!

trying to work out what to plant!


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