Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Bimonthly Weather Report July to August 2009 Gourdon Lot, France

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The two months were a continuous 'canicule' or heat-wave. Only two days had really worthwhile rain - The 9th August with 40 mms and the 25th with 13mm.
The maximum temperature averaged over 28 degrees C over both months, and the minimum was over 16 degrees.
Our 42 cubic metre rainwater cistern installed in 2008 has proved to be extremely helpful for the garden and we have not needed to buy any vegetables. Pests were not a problem until the end of August. I did not have my eye 'on the ball'. Colorado beetle attacked the aubergines and the 'ornate' bug Eurydema ornatum attacked first the Pak Choi and then the Purple Sprouting broccoli. This pest is new to me. I met with neither of these pests in England. The 'ornate' bug is yellow and black (often red and black, I believe) and is pretty but lethal. I did not observe it at first on the Pak Choi, though I was puzzled by the many pinprick holes in the leaves. Then, one day it seems, they multiplied in hundreds. The Pak Choi was in effect destroyed overnight and many broccoli plants had dozens of bugs. Again the aubergine were suddenly infested with Colorado beetles. I had to resort to a pyrithrine based spray. Then daily I still remove larvae of the beetle from the aubergine leaves by hand.
Branches on the peach trees have been weighed down and broken with the weight of fruit. The walnut trees are loaded with developing nuts and the raspberries have yielded heavily.
Roe Deer occasionally wander across the pasture, but have not damaged the crop. The birds are silent at the end of August.