The MGS Forum

Gardening in mediterranean climates => Water => Topic started by: Umbrian on March 24, 2019, 08:02:07 AM

Title: Dry winter.
Post by: Umbrian on March 24, 2019, 08:02:07 AM
Glad to see your garden blooming after winter rainfall John and Charithea. Here in Italy we have had a very mild and dry winter and the arrival of spring has seen temperatures rising quickly and still no rain. I am getting worried and frustrated having undertaken some remedial work in a friend's garden but feel unable to replant in such conditions as he is not in full time residence and ensuring new plantings are kept sufficiently moist would be a problem.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: Umbrian on May 25, 2019, 06:14:56 AM
We  are certainly paying for our mild and dry winter with weeks of stormy wet weather and below normal temperatures. Almost every day brings periods of torrential rain with very little sunshine. Most things in the garden are coping well except for the abundant blooms on my roses that have become soggy balls of petals.
Plants from seed have suffered the most though with the wildly fluctuating temperatures. I always grow a selection of Ipomea  from seed finding them easy and rewarding but this year, after germinating, they have remained small mostly with just one pair of secondary leaves and now are producing flower buds at the growing ( non growing!) point. One purple one produced a small flower and then promptly withered away.
Oh the joys of gardening.......
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: Umbrian on June 13, 2019, 06:10:46 AM
Well we are certainly paying for the excessive rainfall we received throughout most of May. Many things grew much bigger than normal and now with a sudden rise in temperatures, that are well above the norm for early June, are beginning to suffer. I have been firmly committed to planting suitable subjects for the climate, only watering during the establishment period and then relying on my choices to ensure success however this year I have felt obliged to lend a hand to certain things with a deep watering occasionally. The soil I garden in now after a move is very free draining and I find myself regretting the loss of the heavier clay that used to be bone of contention involving hours of backbreaking work during preparation before planting.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: David Dickinson on June 13, 2019, 11:09:07 AM
Hi Umbrian.  Exactly the same situation here in Rome re seeds. Disastrous year :-( Widely/wildly fluctuating temperatures prevented many seeds from germinating at all.  Crepis rubra, which should have germinated in February and be setting seed now only germinated about 10 days ago. And then I only got 5 seedlings. Then from an average daily temperature of low 20s centigrade with cloud we jumped to low 30s with full sun within 2 or 3 days, Needless to say, said seedlings frazzled. Similar story with Ipomeas but at least I have one or two plants established of a couple of types. Other seeds, not a murmur. Tithonia rotundifolia germinated and rotted in waves with the cold and torrential rain. My last seed sprouted a week ago and, with the summer heat we are having, should survive. One plant out of about 20 seeds. :-( I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. A terrible year for seeds.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: Charithea on June 13, 2019, 03:46:56 PM
Carole and David, I feel for you.  That is what happens normally here when Spring arrives and a few weeks later summer temperatures follow and the seedlings burn.  I try every year to get the seeds in in the Autumn, but as I mentioned before we had an exceptional wet winter and my Botanic Garden Trial seedlings  got waterlogged and died. Only 6 types survived.  The Salvia  seedlings survived but now need daily watering until they get big and strong.  David you can be happy because our Tithonia rotundifolia is getting ready to flower, the Ipomea blue ensign flowered, Emilia coccinea is doing well and others.  Thank you for those seeds.  I almost forgot to mention that the Salvia cuttings especially the Salvia Guaranitica  ones which I thought died seem to have re - sprouted.  Good luck to both of you with the rest of the summer gardening.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: Umbrian on July 02, 2019, 06:25:44 AM
High temperature continue here in Italy with many plants suffering especially those most recently planted. Most disappointing is the failure of many well rooted cuttings, potted on and placed in shady position. I fear most have succumbed despite careful attention.  Old stalwarts such as Gaura , Salvia and Echinea continue to give pleasure but I shall be taking note of others that hopefully survive our so far unrelentingly hot summer - so far the hottest experienced in our 21 years here.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: John J on July 06, 2019, 06:13:23 AM
David, the Tithonia flower has opened this morning, although something has already had a nibble at it!
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: David Dickinson on July 11, 2019, 10:29:22 AM
Lucky you! Although many of my seeds did germinate, none of them have made it through to maturity. As I said in an earlier post, early season changes in temperature followed by an extremely wet spring topped off with a 2-day arrival of a summer which began with a heatwave, have all contributed to a disastrous seed year for me :-( Enjoy it and remember to take seeds as it is an annual.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: John J on July 29, 2019, 08:16:55 AM
It's still going strong and flowering well.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: David Dickinson on July 29, 2019, 11:03:28 PM
Glad you like it. They are usually easy to grow and add a lot of colour. I will have to wait until next year now.

I will console myself with a bag of goodies I brought back with me last night after a visit to Umbrian. Some from her garden, some from a friend of hers and some from a local garden centre. Perhaps I made one mistake at the garden centre, There were some tall, blue lobelias for sale with a name tag which read L. 'lius'  As it was growing well in full sun I decided to buy it. I found nothing with that name on the internet but it looked rather like L. siphilitica. It was later confirmed as such in reply to an email I sent to the owner of the garden centre. Needs moist to swamp-like conditions. I will have to grow it alongside  my Hibiscus coccineus and Ruellia brittoniana.  I wonder how that will work?

Nature, though, does work in mysterious ways. I remember watching Black and Red Broadbills in Malaysia and if they can get away with sky blue and red together then can I? Just maybe? Perhaps?
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: David Dickinson on August 29, 2019, 02:10:07 PM
Re my reference to a disastrous seed year earlier in this thread. i managed to get just one seed of Ipomea quamoclit to grow and it is just about to flower so I should have seed for next year. At least I thought I had just one plant. Now, right at the end of August, 2 more seeds have germinated in far flung places in the garden. Similar story with Ipomea lutea  (seeds kindly passed on to me by Umbrian). One has established itself and is growing up an Oleander bush. No flowers as yet but I am hopeful. Then, a couple of days ago, I noticed a new seedling pushing through. Truly a strange year for seeds!
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: Charithea on August 30, 2019, 07:27:15 AM
David don't be surprised if more Ipomoea quamoclit seeds pop up.  I have noticed that they don't germinate in our garden until the very end of summer. I have seeds growing at various stages now.  I don't know about the lutea ones though because I have never had any. Good luck with them all.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: David Dickinson on August 30, 2019, 08:11:21 AM
You are quite right about I. quamoclit seeds germinating at the end of summer. A 3rd seed has popped up overnight. I doubt it will have time to produce seed for me though before the cold sets in. It should have time to give me some flowers, however.
Title: Re: Dry winter.
Post by: David Dickinson on November 05, 2019, 03:08:16 AM
An update on my Ipomea situation. 2 of the 3 I. quamoclit have produced more than enough seed for my need next year. I'll try and get some to the MGS seed bank, I. lutea had been flowering for about 2 weeks when the rains arrived. There are still numerous flowers ready to open and a lot of seed pods. I doubt, however, the seeds will ripen and I may have to go back to Umbriam with my begging bowl in hand :-(