Roots 'n' Shoots: August 2016

Why is RnS Moving to

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. So I am busy moving RnS to Wordpress where you can find me as Whisker Flowers @

I am also imposing 301 redirects from already moved posts and pages!

- The Shroom - (AKA Whisker Flowers)

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Roots 'n' Shoots: Birthday (Blogiversary) Post #5

Moldava stamp
Amanita muscaria
Wikimedia Commons

... *Drum rolls please* ...

Roots 'n' Shoots has been up and running for 5 years! I started the blog waaayy back in 2011 when I was still a neophyte with regards to gardening - the vegetable garden had started in the backyard a year before. I decided that the South African gardening community (especially those in the High Veld biome) should have an information central that gives clear and comprehensive how-to's on gardening (also including information that you 'pick up' as you go, which many books fail to record as well as any other practical hints and tips). Since the blog's initiation I have been writing this special edition birthday post (or blogiversary... well B-day works either way! LOL!) in which I just blab out whatever comes to mind, rant and rave about whatever is problematic at the time (either in the garden or the blogosphere) and if it ends up being a whole bunch of non-informative hogwash then so be it! Bwah ha ha!

The year has been very hard on the garden, I can see it in the way the plant respond to the change in seasons and their growth.  As the year was moving towards the end of summer all of the plants went into their Autumn phase a lot sooner. The El Nino was hard on the insect population too and I think that a lot of the coming season will probably go towards the re-establishment of the plants and insects. I lost a few plants, some not as important as others, but I do have a sneaky feeling that the Apricot and Tamarillos have perished - not due to a lack of watering from my side... I just noticed that around the same time the other plants went into the early Autumn phase, the Apricot and the Tamarillos seemed to have given up the fight. I wasn't too concerned about the Apricot as it had always been a bit sickly, but it was a shame to see the Tamarillos go, but at least I had the good sense to save some of their seed each year - so I'll start on the new seedlings this season.

Tamarillo flowers
Solanum betaceum

I had to do some serious maintenance during mid-winter, the garden had a lot of dead and not-so-healthy plant material to get rid of.  The Nectarine and Peach are looking fantastic as I removed all their blooms last season in preparation for the El Nino - so that they focus on getting through the summer and conserve energy for next seasons fruit production. The blooms on them are a bit earlier this year than I'd like (especially during our windy and frost month!), but I am hoping that they set fruit before any bad weather and being under the shade netting will also protect them. I can see signs of spring in the other plants too; the comfrey is coming back from its dormancy, the solitary bees have joined the honey bees at the basil flowers and the previous season's clover seeds are sprouting. This prompted me to do some good all round fertilisation of the garden with slow release and liquid feed to give the plants a good boost for the coming season. I will be planting a bit later this year as I am going to be overseas on training for the next month and will only start planting once I am back. Until then the copious amounts of homemade compost will be sitting on the garden beds, ready to be directly sown into once I am back.

Nectarine (Sunlight) Blooms
Prunus persica var. nucipersica

I want to re-organise the way I do blog posting, especially seeing as I have taken up new hobbies as well as having revived old ones. I just find that lately I feel like a slave to my computer - I am in my 'data analysis' stage of my studies, which means a lot of computer work. Then the last thing I want is to be in front of the computer over the weekend, which means that my blog posts tend to lag behind (and me feeling like a bad blogger...). I still enjoy posting, but my eyes and wrists generally want nothing to do with computers over weekends so much so that I often end up with headaches and sore hands (regardless of the fact that I do have an egronomic keyboard, mouse and chair!). So blog posting need a re-organise and I am still working out some of the kinks... Also I want to revisit some of my older posts, even though I loathe repetition, there are a few fruit and vegetables that I have improved on growing, but have already been covered. So I was thinking about rewriting the entire post (80% of information will likely remain the same) and adding new photos. Definitely new photos, some of the older posts' photos make me twitch - not that they're terrible, but I have become a better photographer since (upgrade in equipment also helps); not to mention a better writer as well.

Alright I think I am just about fresh out of nonsense... my luggage is literally standing in the doorway and I am flying out tonight (~30 hours & 2 stop-overs! Yikes!) - I will reply to all comments once I am back again :)  and I'll get up to speed with the blog, garden and life in general! Stay tuned for another year of gardening adventures and advise; here on Roots 'n' Shoots!

Lastly; a shout-out to all my readers! Roots 'n' Shoots would not have grown to its current size without your support! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

TTFN: Ta-Ta For Now!

- Me Out -

Related Posts:

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