January is Tamworth Country Music month. It is often hot
and dry but some years it can be wet, very wet, enough to flood the campers out of their make shift camping sites on the sporting fields next to the Peel River.
We have had a few storms around recently, but no where near as much as the coastal areas.
As a result, our grass is growing and our plants don’t need as much water as normal whereas during heatwave weather they do need more. In the 2nd week of January we had some days in the high 30’s°C and one day 40°C.
Last year we recorded 756mm of rain, about 83mm of rain above average, even though we had some months closer to zero. Too, last year we had an early winter frost in May which did a lot of damage to our perennial plants which was followed up by a late frost in September, again doing perennial plant damage, resulting in some of our fruit trees producing less than normal, or even no fruit.
One of our grape vines
usually starts picking in mid January but came early in late December and another variety
started the 1st week of January
rather than mid January.
The apricots usually finish picking in early January but were all this year, all being finished in early December, and with a very small crop. Although we missed out on our breba fig crop, our normal summer fig crop has started on time, although 3 of the youngest trees have failed to flower this year, I think due to the frosts.
Our other stone crops of peaches and nectarines are producing very small crops this year too.
In the vegie patch
it was great to see the bees collecting pollen.
I have been busy growing gold bantam sweet corn
which we started to harvest in the past couple of days as well as planting a new, but late, crop of red Aztec corn.
Our spring potato crop
was harvested in January this year rather than December as per normal.
Our new autumn potato crop is being planted in mid January.
Just as our October plantings of lettuce came to an end in early January,
my December transplanted lettuce of 4 varieties became ready to pick.
I have been too busy and exhausted to get my second tomato bed (a new wicking bed) ready,
so unless I can do it now I will probably leave it this year and concentrate on getting the winter tomatoes happy in the hot house.
I have also picked a couple of water melons, rock melons
I will also be planting peas at the end of the month for an autumn or early winter harvest before the frosts come.
I was speaking with an old mate the other day and I suggested he plant peas on the day school goes back. He just looked at me and said “they are too much bother for an old fellow like me” because he can’t bend over now. I said what about climbing peas and he just looked at me as if he didn’t believe me. I told him I had purple pod peas and again he looked in an unbelieving manner. I will give him some along with climbing snow peas.
Throughout January (and every month as far as that goes) I have put chook turned compost or composted cow manure on most plants as well as worm leachate on all plants. Every day the worm colonies have been watered and fed some sort of organic material, the cow manure compost pile has been added too and the chooks get at least a bucket of greens and other organic materials for their chook turned compost pile.
As we head into the last week of January and 15.5mm of rain overnight and showers predicted for coming days, it is time to sow more seeds of lettuce and beetroot.