A journal of my favourite pastimes gardening, farming and sewing.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN'

My friend Chel at goinggreyandslightlygreen was talking on her blog recently about letting her veggie garden go due to the extended heatwave Queensland has experienced this summer.  I did the same but it was for a different reason, but really, unless I get the whole veggie garden under shade cloth, it seems pointless to try and keep things limping along in the height of summer these days.

The other day I was pondering how hot the summer are now and how the last two winters have been relatively mild in my area, and I wondered about the possibility of planting more sub-tropical suitable plants, particularly fruit trees.  The climate in our area varies according to which website you look at, but they predominantly say warm temperate to temperate.  It is definitely warm, can be slightly warmer (but less humid thank goodness) than coastal areas most of the time.  Our winters are colder yes, but not for all that long and day time temps are not unreasonable.

I'm not getting into the whole climate change debate except to say that gardeners and farmers would have a pretty good feel for how things are changing weather-wise.  I'm off the trawl through some catalogues just for a dream of what might be possible in the future.
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4 comments:

  1. Barb we have a couple of pawpaw trees that have sprung up. Not sure if we will get any fruit but one can only hope.

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  2. They're all definitely possible, if you create the right micro-climate. Plan them inside a circle of trees and shrubs that suit your climate. That way, they take the brunt of the frost (and can handle it) but the more subtropical trees are protected in the middle. You'll have to protect them while young, but when they're older, they can handle a lot of climate extremes.

    I've actually grown chokos and avocados in former cold climates I've lived in. Once a tree gets big enough, it takes a cyclone to kill it, by pulling it out by the roots. To get to such a size though, the gardeners used clever tactics, like using existing fencing to shield it from cold winds, and by locating a compost pit near it (made from roofing iron sheets) it warded off frosts when young. You could do the same using besser blocks, which store heat better than corrugated iron.

    You can also put a ring of large rocks around the young trees to retain heat, during the day, to let it back out at night. This wards off frost too. Plant them under the eaves of a house or shed, so long as they don't grow too big - I'm thinking edible bushes, canes and shrubs - and that will offer protection too. If you have any outside brick structures, plant next to those as well. The brick will retain heat during the day and ward off frost.

    I think you should do it Barb! Why miss out on growing subtropical fruit, when in the right place, they can do wonders. Any easy one to start is pineapple tops. You can propagate them yourself, from the tops of your bought ones - if you haven't already done this? :)

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  3. PS: I reckon another tree that would survive in your climate is carob. It's a niche tree, which can handle both extremes of heat and cold. I have one. It's amazing. I can send you some carob seeds if you like?

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  4. Hi Barb, I'm sure you will be ok , depending on how much difference there is between your place and here in town. I had 2 big Avocado trees in the yard and a friend had a huge Mulberry tree and 2 Mangoes, I know people are growing Blueberries at Hampton and they do well, there was a Strawberry farm just on the Northern outskirts of town.
    The CSIRO did tests years ago and found that if you use 3 stakes to hold a large plastic bag cylinder around young trees you turn up the inside bottom about 3 cms. to form a gutter and the night moisture runs down and fills the 'gutter' and makes a moist atmosphere, which gave much better healthy growth results than no gutter and letting the dew run down and drip into the soil.
    Have fun choosing some yummy plants to experiment with.

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