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Time to eat the shoots of mango

October 1, 2011

End of September, end of the rainiest month of the year. The total rainfall of September 2011 was 320 mm, 28% more than an average year. A normal year the rains end at the end of October, a dry year they end in mid October. This year is a La Niña year. In a previous La Niña year (2008) we had rain every day during the first week of November, so wait a bit with garden parties!

2006. Unusually wet year. Dokmai garden quarry overflowed.

2007. Neutral year. At the end emerging La Niña, cold oceanic phase. Dokmai Garden quarry not full at the end of the dry season.

2008. Wet year. The rainy season ended after the first week in November. La Niña, cold oceanic phase.

2009. The driest year in 70 years. El Niño, warm oceanic phase. The Dokmai Garden quarry not full at the end of the rainy season.

2010. Delayed rainy season (as an effect of El Niño), terribly wet end (August – September) and emerging La Niña. The Dokmai Garden quarry was full in mid September.

2011. Cold and unusually rainy March as an effect of the declining La Niña. August and September were very rainy. September had 320 mm of rainfall flooding downtown Chinag Mai. The Climate Prediction Center predicted a neutral year at the end of 2011, but it turned out to be another La Niña. The Dokmai Garden quarry overflowed in September.

Surprisingly we had plenty of visitors yesterday, in spite of downtown (or perhaps because?) being flooded. The road to Opkhan national park is closed due to erosion.

This time of the year, before the upcoming cold and dry season which for many local plants is a period of dormancy, it can be valuable to add a last boost of fertilizer. The plants will use it during the remaining rains. Adding fertilizers in August-September is often futile since it is washed away quickly.

Some mango varieties make new shoots now. Here in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand these shoots are appreciated in salads. I like to chew them straight from the tree when I wander in the garden.

Eric Danell

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