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Winter - is this what we can expect now?

This year has been most unusual. Not only has it been a very late start to the cooler conditions, but it has also been unusually wet. Now we are getting what looks like a very early start to warmer conditions again.

This is the season when we can out in the garden all day and not be lathered in sweat, when the pests are usually in hibernation - no fruit fly, no cabbage moth, etc, etc.


Every situation has its bonuses and for me I look like getting a Mulberry harvest for the first time in years. What usually happens here is that the mulberries start to form, but it is so dry that they fall off due to the lack of moisture. This year the ground has abundant moisture so I expect a bumper harvest.

The picture below shows some of my sacks and plastic container gardens. The cabbages are going well without  any moth attack, and the oak leaf lettuce is thriving. I also have beetroot growing well here.  


I also have a lot of my pumpkin vines still alive and thriving in the wetter conditions. They will take off when the colder nights are gone and the real advantage of this is that when they start growing fast again they have already had both male and female flowers on the vine and so I expect them to start producing fruit immediately, instead of the usual cycle where  a new plant will only have male flowers initially, then after a month or so they will develop female flowers only to gradually lose the male flowers again.


The next photo shows carrot seedlings starting in the PVC tubes. I have grown some of the F1 hybrid all purple carrots here this autumn. I found them a little smaller than orange carrots and not quite as sweet, but they are supposed to be very healthy. It is a pity that I haven't been able to find any all purple heirloom seeds. I will continue the search for these.


The kale has grown very well this year. This time I tried the (I think) Scotch Curl type (or is it red Russian?). It is a very attractive kale and very productive. The Nero Di Toscana is what I usually grow and is a great type, this one has a larger leaf , but it's hard to pick a favourite here.


Here is my Besser block garden


Here I have grown Broccoli (both the hearting type and Asian types) along the outside in the block holes on one side and strawberries along the other side (can't see them here though). Sebego spuds are in the middle with a bit of mustard self seeding itself after growing this as a green manure come nematode fumigant.


The next photo is of my Trad / Horse manure heaps which I intend to use to grow more pumpkins on in the warmer months. On one I have planted out some Paw Paws and tomatoes. I have not grown good Paw Paws for a ling time now, but these are showing promise. They are in almost full sun and get good wind movement which seems to be keeping then free of black spot. The ones I have growing in my usual spot have black spots under their leaves and are not growing at all.

This last photo is of my Pinkerton dwarf Avocado. It is flowering a couple of months early. I don't know how this will affect pollination but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one. Didn't have any luck with this last year, so who knows what will happen. I haven't seen any bee activity yet either, not very promising.

My row / hedge of Pomegranates are already setting leaf and flowers, although the only known type that I have (A Wonderful) is showing no sign of life yet.

Is this how our winters are going to be in the future, or are we just experiencing a very unusual event? I think we may be in for a very long, hot Summer.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on July 28, 2016 at 6:09

Winter's Back!!!!!

Comment by Dianne Caswell on July 27, 2016 at 18:21

My problem is, because of my medications, I just forget the names of plants and people sometimes. But that's OK most people understand.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 27, 2016 at 17:01

I suffered it for 2 years before I found out what it was (red face). Once I pulled up the plant and saw that fabulous root system I was hooked on it then to find it's quite palatable … what a bonus.

Check this page

Comment by Dianne Caswell on July 27, 2016 at 16:47

I did think it was Chick Weed but didn't want to make a fool of myself and say it was.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 27, 2016 at 16:30

That's Chick Weed! Wonderfully edible and has the loveliest fine spreading root system. It pops up in winter and dies down in summer. I gave up trying to rid my yard of it when I found out its many benefits. So I just leave some around the plants and cut off the excess coz it can indeed smother small plants.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on July 27, 2016 at 16:08

Here is a Beautiful Photo of my Weed. It is smothering everything.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 27, 2016 at 13:17

Oh do you mean that 'nursery weed'? I know it has a proper name (in that I've read it somewhere) which I've forgotten. It's the one with the exploding seed pods, longish and thin: touch them and there's seeds everywhere. If that doesn't describe your weed can you send a pic?

Comment by Dianne Caswell on July 27, 2016 at 11:10

The weeds I have are very tiny leaves but hundreds of them they only grow about 15cms high and spread and they are literally smothering my small plants. Years ago I saw this weed growing in the nurseries where it was damp all the time, but haven't had it before myself.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 26, 2016 at 21:48

Although nettles are great for compost containing lots of minerals so I read; those keen use them for cooking, handling with gloves and cooking neuters the toxins. Each winter nettles pop up here and there and I leave some to self-seed and use some in the compost

Comment by Susanne on July 26, 2016 at 18:10
Looks so good Roger and like you I am also looking forward to a bumper mulberry crop..
Dianne, last year I had a large patch of nettles and bindi so I tried a remedy I'd read of. I spread dolomite on and around the areas infested and left it be. Much to my surprise a month or so later when I was working around that area I realised that both the nettles and bindi had disappeared.

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