Roots 'n' Shoots: August 2015

Why is RnS Moving to whiskerflowers.wordpress.com?

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 cannot rely on Mr G anymore to get RnS' content where it is needed. And so I am busy moving RnS to Wordpress where you can find me as Whisker Flowers @ whiskerflowers.wordpress.com I am also imposing 301 redirects from already moved posts and pages!

- The Shroom -

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Roots 'n' Shoots Blogiversary Post 4#

What time is it? It is Blogiversary again! A whole book full of posts brings us to year number 4! This is my special edition, once-a-year, random-off-topic, give-it-a-good-rant, unrelated-and-unorganised brain-blah! [Everyone need such a post once in a while] Also my 4th Blogiversary happens to fall on my 100th post as well! How cool is that!?! *Music please! Do the 100th post jive* On that note... here we goes!

A BIG Thank You to all my readers out there for your continuous support and comments! The blog has grown enormously the last year and its all because of you guys! Stay tuned for more articles, discussions and random rants!

Posting has been a bit erratic this year due to first year PhD duties, but next year should be a bit more organised - the first year of any degree is usually a bit chaotic seeing that most of the foundation work is done, but later it is only a matter of getting all the data in! As I mentioned the last time; my studies and gardening are more aligned than before and I find that they have mutual topics in common helping with building good all-round knowledge on each front! Makes post topics and writing a bit easier too! Hee hee...



Hmm...I feel a rant coming on now...

My blog has a chronic disease know as RSS Feed Failure Syndrome or more commonly know as RSSFFS and symptoms include sporadic collapse of the RSS feed and third-party feed host login declines! (LOL!) *Sigh* Each blog has a RSS Feed that is run automatically by Google's FeedBurner service, which had collapsed in 2012 for my blog. This means that any social media updates, such as twitter and feed readers, do not get updated anymore. I had to re-route the feed through a third party site FeedCat.net, which in the most part does a fantastic job. I subscribed to my own feed via email (no, it's not a sad case of me trying to up my subscribers numbers...) to check that my feed is working as it should and if I don't receive an email of my new post, I know something has gone bung again! So, every once in  a while the feed fails and this can be many different reasons, some still unbeknown to me. The following possible causes my be the root of the syndrome, for example;

1) Incorrect URLs; of feeds or posts themselves. Not too much of a problem to fix.

2) MS Word formatting junk in the HTML coding. I write my posts in word to save as a backup on my computer. Then I copy-and-paste it into a text document, then copy-and-paste it from the text document to blogger. This gets rid of most of the unnecessary coding from Word, but things like tables need to be pasted directly from Word, leaving <o:p></o:p> stuff in the HTML file, which I have to manually delete. Once I had to go through each and every single post I have every wrote and delete these #%&^! things - took me forever. Now I make sure to zap them before the post goes out - which can be a major pain especially with large tables that generate up to 100 of these stupid things....

3) No apparent reason whatsoever - and FeedCat blocks my login when I try to manually fix it from there! So fine! Considering my password is 'incorrect' - even though it isn't - let's do the Forgot Password function! *Loading, loading.... Email account doesn't exist! ...* DARGH!

So apologies to any delayed or non-existent updates, weird feed reader layouts and general non-functional inconveniences... I'll fix it as soon as the gremlins are out of my computer and internet connection!

Anyways, spring is a little over a month away (although with this heat you would think we are there already!) and preparations are already underway in the garden. If you would like to know the official astronomical dates of spring & summer then check out my Season Lore for the Southern Hemisphere Post. I do hope our rainfall won't be as late as last year and that the rain would be a bit more evenly distributed for proper cropping during February and March, but with "Godzilla El Niño" about we might be having even worse weather! For records on rainfall and seasonal temperatures, check out my latest Weather Report.



I have posted on a majority of the 'standard' vegetables and fruits, therefore I will be posting more often about uncommon/exotic food plants in the future - so watch this space for some interesting experiments for you to try too! I also thought about doing some 'revisits' to the standard fruits and vegies as I have refined my growing techniques and discovered a few new things about the food plants already covered - I am still deciding on how exactly to go about it. Either way, stay  tuned for another year of posts and general garden mayhem, right here on Roots 'n' Shoots!

- Me Out -


Related Posts:

B-Post 1#
B-post 2#
B-post 3#

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If you enjoy the content please share with fellow gardening enthusiasts via the various sharing buttons at the end of posts/pages! Else you can vote for posts through the Google reactions bar at the end of articles. To stay up to date I have provided several reader and social networking platforms with which to subscribe: Twitter, Pinterest, RSS Feed Reader or Email/Follow directly using the Blog Followers or Follow Your Way widget on the left hand side toolbar. Thank you for reading and please feel free to ask if questions arise - I appreciate comments and ideas too! J
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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Winter Garden Blues - Wires Crossed & Signals Lost

I recently posted on the our weather for the growing season of 2014/2015 and how it differed from the previous year (2013/2014).

The winter vegetable garden had been stunted this year, because of the very warm April month that we had this year (5oC warmer than last year! See The Shroom's Weather Report 2014/2015). As a result all the plants in the garden had gotten their signals confused. Most of the herbs that go dormant during winter clung onto some green foliage, such as the Tarragon and Comfrey plants. The berries also did not entered a full-on dormancy stage. At least our fruit trees went into dormancy on cue, so their fruit carrying capacity should not be effected next season...

Not only are dormancy issues a problem for the summer-growing plants, but the winter vegetables didn't experience cool enough temperatures that encourage them to grow and crop. Usually, I start up the winter garden end March/ beginning April. This gives them the opportunity to grow while it is still moderately 'warm', but after about a month we should be getting really cool weather in May so that they can crop by June. But, the whole of April was quite warm instead of having a gradual decrease in temperature. This made the winter veg halt their growth and wait for cooler temperatures, which had resulted in stunted plants that seem to have stayed stunted for the most part even though we had a cold front during mid-June and late-July.

Here is a photo of last year's garden (23 June 2014) and this year's garden (27 June 2015):


As you will notice we already started to harvest leaf veg in May last year, peas and broccoli by June and Brussels as well as cauliflowers by end July. The peas don't even have flowers yet - this was in June! So far we have had a dismal winter vegetable harvest, a handful of leafy veg, peas and some tender stem broccoli.

I am not sure whether other people are experienced the same issues with their winter vegetable garden this year or whether it is a localised problem. If the increase in temperature is a wide-spread trend and our seasons seem to be shifting (El Niño is also about!) - then we will have to shift up the winter garden by a month (as well as planing out the summer veg later should it still be too cold by September).

I will be keeping a close eye on the temperatures closer to spring in order to make some planting-time decisions about the summer vegetables/fruit - but if we are experiencing a shift in season I am afraid there is little to do, but to adapt with it. Just when you thought you've got it all figured out...

____________________________________________________________________________________
If you enjoy the content please share with fellow gardening enthusiasts via the various sharing buttons at the end of posts/pages! Else you can vote for posts through the Google reactions bar at the end of articles. To stay up to date I have provided several reader and social networking platforms with which to subscribe: Twitter, Pinterest, RSS Feed Reader or Email/Follow directly using the Blog Followers or Follow Your Way widget on the left hand side toolbar. Thank you for reading and please feel free to ask if questions arise - I appreciate comments and ideas too! J
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