(Some of my lettuce harvest)
Summer in New Zealand is undoubtedly superb! Although the weather can occasionally be unpredictably stormy, windy(can’t get windier than Wellington), rainy, earthquake-y(not a weather; random aftershock yesterday evening), and the warm spells are still a pleasant surprise for both humans and plants!
Also perfect for the coming Christmas BBQs! (New Zealand tradition) Since our ‘White Christmas’ (whiteness of the sandy beaches?) is in Summer, in addition to the good old traditional Christmas pig-out dinner, we also have Christmas BBQ lunches (Double stomach-stuffing time!).
Anyway, I’m going to contradict myself here and admit that warm spells aren’t always great for plants.
Sure, warmth+sunlight = more photosynthesis = higher yield. But sometimes this can be a bit too much, resulting in i.e. bolting and seeding (as shown above in my poor lettuce).
Kind of like feeding your teenagers with too much food and you end up with totally ugly-looking gangly giants (This is how I always feel with my bolted plants haha), most of the time despicable, but you can’t help but keep taking care of them. Uprooting is too painful a process.
Anyway, some plants like lettuces also doesn’t cope well with high heat.
Solution? Water the plants heaps. More here: http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-lettuce.html Wilting is reversible, bolting isn’t.
More ugly bolting pictures (see the flowers/seeds up the top? You can collect them to grow more plants next summer)
Other than the extremely high-yielding lettuces, I’ve got to boast about my super-mutant brocollinis:
I’ve mentioned the franken-broccolinis in my post here: http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/my-slightly-mutated-vegetable-garden/ where despite bolting and flowering lots of times, I’ve managed to keep them alive and edible (after your plants have bolted, they often become inedible)
Over the year, they’ve matured into fledgling, beautiful young veggie plants!
I’m quite proud of myself for having raised (dragged) my broccolinis along for over two summers. Usually veggie plants are replaced after one season (for better looking/higher yielding young crops).
different shoots growing out.
I feel like this crop has been higher-yielding than the first as well.
And look at the scary mutant hugeness of the broccolini shoots!
Purely organic, save for the occasional neighbour’s cat’s faeces.
Nutritious backyard veggies. Sometimes I wonder whether commercial veggies are cleaner than what I pluck out from my backyard, and clean up myself.
Mutant broccolini-supermarket broccoli comparisons (I should let it keep growing next time, see how big it gets).
As they say, things improves with age.
In summary, glad winter is over and summer has arrived; the weather’s been great for some plants while not so good for other winter-suited ones. Summer flowers like carnation have been blooming well, while the Spring ones like Camellia and rhododendron are slowly fading away. Summer’s brought mostly happiness for the Southern hemisphere, while obviously, the changing weather in the Northern hemisphere have been damaging in some places (the Philippines typhoon, wish them all the best!). I guess life is a cycle of goodness and misery.
Whether it’s mostly the good rather than the bad, or vice versa, depends on your own mindset.