Saturday, June 21, 2008

Under the Desert Sun

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that my Tabasco plant wasn't looking very happy. In fact, after seeing its droopy and quite wilted leaves, I decided that it must be rapidly approaching its demise from thirst. The temperature, after all, was relatively hot at 107 degrees (going to be 110 today), and we hadn't seen the lower side of 100 for about 8 hours. So, assuming that the heat must have dried out the soil, I walked over and stuck my finger in the dirt just to make sure. What happened then was a bit of a surprise.

While the plant's soil wasn't entirely dried out, my finger found its temperature to be painfully hot. I would compare it to sticking your finger in a brownie that hasn't had time to cool properly after being taken from the oven. The ceramic container that the heat-struck Tabasco calls home was also so hot that I had to wear gloves when moving the plant to a shady location.

A very hot plant

Last night, after having moved the plant, I noticed that the spot where it had been located receives direct sunlight until around 7:30 pm. This morning, as I'm writing this at about 8 am, I see that the same location is already in full Sun. So basically I have been slow roasting my Tabasco plant under approximately 12 hours of full desert Sun each day, with the temperature the past week being over 105 degrees for much of the time. It's really amazing that it's still alive.

After cooling down for a couple of hours


Rosengeranium said...

That was indeed a very hot plant. Good thing the problem was so easy to solve.

kd said...

It's amazing how nature has provided survival mechanisms which allow various plants to survive harsh environments, although I'm glad that you were able to improve conditions for your plant anyways. I would have thought that you'd be picking your veggies pre-cooked after they'd been exposed to the intense sun for so long :)

DP Nguyen said...

Wow, I can't believe it gets so hot where you live. I don't know how you do it! The poor plant. At least it still looks healthy, even though it's a little droopy. Thanks for visiting my blog! Come back anytime!

Eve said...

I do the same thing. I live on the Gulf Coast and there is definitely such a thing as too much sun. I am moving containers around all the time. Your Pansies just knocked my socks off. They are gorgeous.
I have planted peppers and forgot to put a marker with them, and have no idea what is what..something tells me one bite will let me know if it is hot or not..LOL....I have a square foot garden this year and it is so easy. This is the way I am going from now on. Take care in all that heat.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Wowsa, gardening DOES have to be difficult in the desert.

While it doesn't get as hot here as it does there, I've had similar issues that I have yet to figure out.

On a hot day, around mid-day, sometimes the leaves of our pepper plants start to look droopy. However, when we go out and see if they need water, the soil is still very damp. Never sure what to do there....