Roots 'n' Shoots: End of Season Review

Please Help RnS!

Google had brought out an algorithm update in May 2017. With previous updates like Panda or Penguin, Mr G had penalized blogs or websites with low quality content and those more focused on aggressive adverts (including multiple ads or pop-up ads in articles). However, many blogs/websites that weren't shady got penalized beyond recovery too and a lot of people lost their income. The May 2017 update has had wide-scale effect on blogs and websites, but without any explanation from Mr G as to why or what it does. RnS has been hit by it too and hard. RnS organic search stats (i.e. users from Google) have dropped by 75% since. Even though RnS is not a source of income, I tried to figure out why RnS is being culled. It seems that it doesn't really have anything to do with RnS per se, but likely because RnS is FREE and not paying for page ranking (via AdWords or Ad Ranking). Now it is likely being aggressively shoved to lower page rankings to accommodate the paid ads.

I would fully appreciate any sharing of RnS via email, social media or whatever, because I cannot rely on Mr G anymore to get RnS' content where it is needed. I have (re)registered RnS with Bing and I have also switched to DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine.

Thank you & Enjoy the content!

- The Shroom -

Monday, 9 April 2012

End of Season Review

It is autumn in SA (April-May) and everything is slowing down with the increasingly cold bite in the air. So it was a good time to give the garden a general 'service' and evaluate the success of the past season's crop.

We did have a better crop this year; not so hairy carrots/beets any more, lots of tomatoes given pruning, some of our fruit trees have bared their first crop (although not much) and we have had many potatoes and salad-based crops to enjoy. But the pumpkin/squash harvest of this year was poorer than last year, mainly due the certain pollinators not doing their job... All the pollinators in the garden (bees and flies) only come round for the basil flowers and neglect all the other plants (I had to personally pollinate all the passion fruit flowers that where desperately displaying to an uninterested audience!). So now I shall become head gardener and pollinator of this yard :)

Sad looking end-of-season plants

We dug out most of the garden and added all kinds of goodies (chicken manure, grass clippings, organic and inorganic fertiliser) which will hopefully pay off in return for lots and lots of big root crops, potatoes and whatever else that may be planted there. Lots of bare ground around the garden now, but I can try out my new crop succession planting strategy of increasing the square size to hopefully get  better crop stagger out of it (details in Beet Root article).

Bare ground

The chickens are really big now! They stand higher off the ground than the cats! And they are still growing! Not laying eggs yet, apparently due to the grow pellets we give them, but we can't put them on lay pellets yet because two of them are not at their point of lay yet :) So I'll rather have big chickens that are ready to lay eggs than force them when their biologically not ready yet, so we will wait patiently for our free-range eggs :)

The Chickens

Big Chickens



  1. Inorganic fertilizer!? Not good for you and environment.

  2. Life is crazy at the moment - need to put in more working hours, so you'll hear from me during the holodays again :)

  3. I have been away from the blog world due to ill health but now I am back. It seems like you grow lots of plants in pots. Which ones do you grow in pots? Also, why inorganic fertilizer when they are bad for health and environment?

  4. My take on inorganic fetilisers is that proper use is vital - you use the product as recommended by the supplier (I generaly use less than recommended, as I noticed that they do recommend more than necessary given how the plants respond to the treatment). Because the inorganic fertilizers do contain trace elements that the plants need which I will not be able to provide by just organic needs (since the plant matter I supply doesn't come from a wide variety of plants and most trace elements/nutrients are used up during each planting cycle and is hard to replenish). Therefore I replenish my trace elements with inorganic fertilisers, the next best thing is buying seaweed fertiliser or gypsum (which are two things that my soil need given the poor clay nature of the soil), but these are very expensive to buy so I am stuck with using what I can get and afford :) On the plants in pots - I try to keep plants that can get out of hand quickly and that need constant pruning in pots - so these would be tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. This season I am going to try curbits in pots as their root space isn't big and hopefully I can keep their trailing habit in check and still get a proper harvest from them.


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