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Ticks my boxes.

Seems a very useful way to get your head around the actual botanical events in the garden. You drop 'Spring' and shift the regular seasons about a bit by altering Winter's length and, what was, Spring.

Here in SEQ I think it is indeed a winner and synchronizes more with traditional Aboriginal calendars.

Post from the CSIRO: LINK

It’s winter – and until the end of August you can expect to be rugging up and spending more time indoors sipping hot chocolate and watching your Netflix favourites… or can you? You might think you have until the end of August to enjoy hibernation, but could it be you only have until July 31? And why do we observe four seasons, each exactly three months long?

The four-season year was brought here by Europeans in the late 1700s. Except of course that here down under, the seasons were turned upside down, with our winter coinciding with Europe’s summer and so on.

In his book Sprinter and Sprummer, botanist Tim Entwisle argues the case for a five-season calendar that more closely reflects antipodean cycles in weather, and plant and animal activity.

Tim ­– who runs Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (and has also worked at the world-famous Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, and as Director of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens) – has come up with a new system that he thinks is more logical for southeastern Australia.

For example, the ‘spring’ flowering period for most Australian plants actually begins in August, the last month of ‘winter’. Tim’s solution is ‘sprinter’, a new season in August–September, which also happens to be peak wattle season. Another new season, ‘sprummer’, would account for October–November, a time of changeable weather and storms in eastern and southern Australia.

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I can say that I am indeed headed into Sprinter.  Both my sub-tropical peach and pear are going off, and I can see early changes all over the yard.  I have a Tahitian lime and Lemonade flowering.  The greens on the no-sun winter side of the yard are actually starting to pick up.  The chickens are increasing their lay slowly but surely (the quails didn't really ever stop).   Might do a long term video on this little topic. 

I note the transition too. While the days are warm the nights are still quite cold. No rain of course.

Enough in the way of changes for me to seriously consider that with August almost here 'Sprinter' is among us. 

The Wattle too says it has already finished flowering.

Nonetheless, my seedling store holder at the markets was complaining that is is a hard moment to predict what seeds  he can sow as too early and the punters complain. He noted how desultory has been the tomatoes.

Seedmen know.

Current soil temperature at Brisbane Airport at various depths:

14.0 15.0 15.0 17.0 18.0

Warwick is down to a cool 8.0 near the surface.

I realize that soil temp isn't every thing as sunshine and day length also impact on plant lifestyle.

But at Brisbane airport the soil has warmed even more -- by 2 degrees (16C) closer to the surface (at 5cm depth). 

16.0 16.0 17.0 17.0 18.0

While the over night dew is heavy -- we are still without rain events.

The birds here are beginning the nesting rituals.

Just so you know...

Hello Sprinter!

Of course if you start your veg as seedlings elsewhere -- you are already ahead. seedling trays or pots are warmer than the soil.

Just remember: the cooling effect of living cover/mulch generally slows crop growth as the soil is protected from heat by the carpet ontop of it. Tilled soil is also warmer than untilled soil.

I can't quite make a five season year work in my understanding of my own garden. I think there's

  1. too-cold-for-some-things - which is mid-June to mid-August; then
  2. warm-enough-for-everything; then
  3. too-hot-and-humid-for-many-things, which is December to March; then
  4. warm-enough-for-everything-start-cool-season-plants, and it starts again.

I suspect that the number of seasons relates to the sophistication of the gardener. I'm pretty basic in that I just try to get away with things until I no longer can. Every year I'm caught out by how slow winter is, and wish I'd started a bit earlier.

I agree. The predictability of the 4 seasons per Europe is seemingly a great template. But here, in SEQ, you can cheat and get away with it.

When it's hot I yearn for the Winter cold -- when it's cold, I thinks bring on the warm.

Since I'm growing so much from seed I'm very concerned about the weather as seeds are so picky about when they'll sprout. I keep moving them about to exploit heat or cool.

Since we are 'frost free' in the main -- there is a wide window of planting opportunities.

But when you consider the diurnal offerings:

it's easy to see the problem -- or the advantage. If a plant can 'make-it-thru-the-night'  it's on a winner niche. And if the soil can retain some of the heat on offer during the sunshine hours -- then that's even better.

What sort of medium your soil is, whether it is well mulched, how your yard is situated and protected, whether your bed is elevated or you grow in pots or wicking beds..are all going to be factors impacting on soil heat retention and your ambient temperature.

Nonetheless I'm mightily impressed how much I can bend the stick at the moment. I've grown corn thru Winter and it's seems to be beginning to bud.  And I'm now fixing to plant some more.

Tromboncino is forming fruits as are the Bottle Gourds. Is that because of the height they grow?

The legumes are happy. Spuds are too. Carrots, radishes, herbs...are firing.

This is really interesting to consider - last year when I started trying to garden someone told me to just plant everything at any time and it's more or less likely to grow. While I don't think that's an ideal approach if you want to grow things that thrive this 5 season approach might at least fit better with my experience of germination and early growth if not successful fruiting!

Look out the window today:

Isn't this what Sprinter is?

Even a few days/weeks early.

It sure isn't Winter.

I say enjoy -- and  go check out the seed catalogues...

I almost put the aircon on yesterday, it was getting quite hot, but the nights are cool enough to still sleep.  Whether like this my grandmother and mother used to call an Indian summer.

A different take on 'Indian summer' - though why 'Indian' I've no idea. Understood that meant an extended summer rather than mid-winter as it is now.

Indian because of when the British invaded India and experienced hot summers and cool enough to sleep evenings.

As I said, my grandmother and mother called this type of weather an Indian summer, not that they called this time of year.  I'm from Melbourne, we most definitely did not have winters like this.


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