A Framework for Climate Action
ARC Climate Emergency Working Group Report 2020 for emissions reduction, carbon sequestration and climate change adaption.
Armidale Vegetable Sowing Guide
This guide shows planting time periods that should allow you to get a crop in Armidale.
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Climate Matters: 5 Lessons from the Drought

  1. The Bird Bath — The hot dry weather over 2014 and now 2018 made the value of a birdbath very obvious. Species of birds that have not visited before became regular visitors during the drought. One morning an Olive Oriole and an Eastern Shriketit joined the 15 or so regular species. Available drinking water must be one of the limiting factors in the bush; think of how far it can be from a dry ridge top to the nearest available water down in the creek. Birds like fresh water and flock in when the dishes have just been topped up. Put your birdbath where you can see it easily so you can enjoy the birds as they come in for a bath or a drink. They like to have a clear view in case of predators but they like nearby shelter where they can dry their feathers and preen.
  2. Trees in the wrong place — Several Snow Gums, Black Sallys and Peppermints died in 2014 after having survived on the hill for many years. Others have survived because they were planted further down the hill. For contrast, back in a wet year some Yellow Box saplings that had developed at the bottom of the hill died from “wet feet”. The extremes of wet and dry are the environmental factors that define areas where particular species grow in New England.
  3. The value of mulch  The garden beds that have been mulched thickly with organic mulch from Armidale Regional Council retained their moisture for longer but without] deep penetrating rain the mulched beds eventually dry out too. That is the down side of mulch; light rain does not penetrate the mulch and moisten the soil beneath. Other Armidale gardeners prefer sand mulch to the organic mulch.
  4. Deep watering  Since light sprinkling of water does not penetrate through the mulch to the root zone it is important to allow water to soak in at the base of the newer plants. The older plants have more expansive root systems, often running along at a shallow depth where the mulch keeps the soil cooler than exposed surfaces.
  5. Indicator plants  Some plants such as Prostanthera “lasianthos” are good indicator plants whose leaves droop when the soil gets too dry for them. When they are wilting it is a sign that other species like bottlebrush are suffering even if they are not showing symptoms because they have stiff leaves.

Observation is particularly important in periods of drought or extensive rain.

By Peter Metcalfe

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