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Strange weather this year, even for us.  RSS feed

 
Shawn Harper
Posts: 360
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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How has everyone else been doing with our late spring this year? lol. I haven't watered my 3 sisters yet and its well into tasseling maize and squash on the vine. My tomatillos and tomatoes aren't setting fruit well though.

What about you guys, how are you doing with the storms?
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1650
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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Hi Shawn;

I'm on Cortes Island, British Columbia. We've had a very strange 'summer' so far, too. We got our April rains in June, and it's still going on. Rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun. Crazy. Had another little rain storm last night. My tomatoes and grapes are taking much longer to ripen with all this cooler weather and overcast days. Lots of fruits, just a little behind schedule in getting from the vine to my mouth. On the other hand, as you said, watering hasn't been an issue - and the cool weather crops are definitely liking it - very little bolting going on, which is lovely. But I really want some tomatoes and grapes . . .
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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I've only lived in Portland for (almost) three years, so I can't speak for the area in general, but I thought "Juneuary" was a thing?  Like, it's not that odd to have cool wet weather through June and a chilly 4th of July.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Julia Winter wrote:I've only lived in Portland for (almost) three years, so I can't speak for the area in general, but I thought "Juneuary" was a thing?  Like, it's not that odd to have cool wet weather through June and a chilly 4th of July.

Indeed, the 4th of July is generally the breaking point for the rains.

The difference, is usually we have a soggy spring followed by rains tapering off in May and June and then it basically shuts off somewhere between July 1st and July 15th. This year rather than that normal pattern we had sort of a spring Summer and now we're having more of a summer Spring if that makes sense.

The only other time I recall a pattern like this was during the year we were expected to have a particularly severe 'drought' that the governess drummed up a ton of drama over... and then it rained every day for 60 days or more right through summer.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1128
Location: northern northern california
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Julia Winter wrote:I've only lived in Portland for (almost) three years, so I can't speak for the area in general, but I thought "Juneuary" was a thing?  Like, it's not that odd to have cool wet weather through June and a chilly 4th of July.


only close to the coast...like the whole section from the washington, the olympic pennisula all the way through oregon to the northern california coast has juneuary every year, almost any month can be juneuary, actually. it's juneuary all year round, like perpetual spring weather.

i am a couple of hours from the coast, inland along those coastal areas, it gets very hot and completely bone dry from june --> sept. well USUALLY, not this year.

its been fall for the last week here! i'm actually liking it personally, it's been very pleasant and cool...and finding it helpful in my gardening cause the plants love the moist cool air... all the things i have been transplanting have been making it a lot better having these unusual rains and all the cloudiness.

and having so much rain last winter, the fruit trees have been producing more abundantly than usual.
 
Dennis Lanigan
Posts: 175
Location: Philomath, OR
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I'm right on schedule down here in Philomath. If anything things are early than what I've been used to in Olympia, WA. Lots of fruit set. Peppers are almost ready. Tons of summer squash. Some outdoor tomatoes (mostly cherry) and lots of greenhouse tomatoes that I planted in early April (I planted mostly siberian varieties). All my spring stuff has bolted. My tomatillos are acting stupid, but somehow I have tons of volunteers everywhere.

I'm enjoying the cooler weather and rains because I always have a hard time keeping up with watering during the summers. The clay soil down here and summer rain are letting me relax and focus on weeding and winter starts, rather than watering every other day. I've seen some powdery mildew though, which is sketching me out.

 
Deb Rebel
garden master
Posts: 1453
Location: Zone 6b
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Here in the panhandle we go through 10-15 years serious drought then about a decade of 'wet'. This is what helped feed the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. The 1920s was a lush cycle so lots bought whole sections of land, would show up to break it, sow it with wheat, leave, then come back for harvest. Then it dried out and all that broken sod just blew away. The government put 4 million acres back into grass to help stop the blowing, and otherwise try to alleviate the issue. This is the first really true wet year, and it's actually hard to deal with. Other than we have had temperatures cracking 100f and I am finally having to really water things because of that. We are also getting lots of sudden boil up storms and hail. Being a volunteer weather spotter I have made several calls in the last few months to report what is bouncing up on the covered deck measured with my complimentary hail-o-meter ruler the NWS rep gifted me with at signup in April. More tornado warnings and later in the year, than ever. I got used to how to deal with 'Exceptional' drought and now it's strange to have water! (and did the bug population EXPLODE)
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
Posts: 480
Location: Pac Northwest
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These days "normal" weather seems to be the unusual weather.

Growing up in B'ham I used to enjoy going to the midwest to visit family since there are wonderful thunderstorms in the midwest but they are rare in the PNW. We would sit out on the lawn and watch distant lightning shows and eat roasted pumpkin seeds enjoying nature's fireworks shows.

But these days the PNW has been getting thunderstorms a lot more often, even several tornadoes!

I have gotten to the point I just don't assume or expect any type of weather anymore. The "normal" cycle just seems too in flux. Between El Niño, La Niña, Pacific warm blob, and the messed up jet stream there isn't really a predictable pattern to follow.
 
Emily Harris
Posts: 26
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Here in NW South Carolina zone 7-8 we've had BRUTAL hot sun with temps in the 90s and next to zero rain. My tomatoes are struggling. One is in a container and two are in raised beds.  I'm having trouble keeping up with the watering of everything. (I have berries too and asparagus). I hand water with rainwater.  I know everything needs to be covered with  more compost and leaves and straw to have a fighting chance to  stay hydrated. I was also parsimonious with soil when I set up the raised beds. I'd hoped the roots of plants would grow into the clay soil beneath the six inches I added on top to create the beds.

The Basil plants don't seem to mind the heat, they, the rosemary and the oregano are doing great. I also have green onions and parsley which has managed to keep coming back and the parsley has reseeded itself.

I have kiwis which have never flowered or fruited which have been planted for three years. AT least one is an arctic kiwi so it may not like the heat and the genders may have not been as advertised.

When I moved here I had trees cut down because I thought I needed "full sun" for planting vegetables but my neighbor who has a shady yard has plants that are lush healthy and fruiting a lot better than mine are. They are being watered with town water and probably are not organic.

However for some strange reason, I planted some cabbage after when I should have planted it and did so in between weeds and red clover I'd planted as a live fertilizer that is still growing and it is still alive! So much for cabbage being a cool weather plant.

My Satsuma mandarin in a grow bag seems to be handling it well.

The peach trees that were here when I arrived grow green peaches a little larger than golf balls and then stop growing. They never finish growing or turn yellow and then they disappear. I guess the birds eat them anyway. Does anyone else experience this with peaches?

My neighbor has an established fig tree that is VERY productive. He doesn't do anything to it. I'm so jealous.

Is anyone else in my vicinity? If so, what are you growing and how are you caring for it?

 
Robbie Asay
Posts: 83
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I really got a kick out of the daily-ish email today that linked this thread in it but in particular because of this:

Bumper crops of fruit breaking branches with their weight


I live in the Cascade foothills in WA and this morning I saw a doe eating around the crab apple tree which is nothing unusual.  What was unusual was that a 10 ft branch full of apples had broken and fallen to the ground.  I had been noticing an uptick in deer activity around the tree this week but hadn't realized that some of the apples were ripe already.  I could see a very noticeable color difference as from about 10ft and lower the apples are green and and above 10ft there are a lot of red ones.  The deer had eaten all they could reach.

The weather HAS been strange.  It's like were in perpetual spring.  In a way I'm not complaining but as far as the cloud cover and rain...we had squalls last night!  Something typical for the rainy season.  I could care less about 80 degree temps(I prefer things cooler) but I am definitely in need of some sunlight and am looking forward to moving to New Mexico next year.

 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 773
Location: Longbranch, WA
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Bumper crops of fruit breaking branches with their weight

Yes one of my 100 year old gravenstine trees had an 8 inch brance twist and split where it had grown from an ancient break. The rains came just at the right time that the fruit could expand rapidly. My peach tree that turned out to be a nectarine had an upright that stopped at a 4 way branching. all 4 broke before I got to the thinning. 3 of them have enough bark connection to ripen the fruit and I think the gravenstine branch will ripen its fruit also but I am going to have some more apple wood  to work with; I hope to make some strong smooth handles  for my tools.
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This hollow trunk to right now has a tree at the top with apples
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 773
Location: Longbranch, WA
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Took some pictures of the results of our hot spring and summer rains. First the replacement tree that grew on the hollow stump of the tree that broke in the snow event. Then the sister tree that is doing best. then the third of the 4 gravenstiens that has the highly arched branches  one branch split and twisted to ground and the other almost to ground when normally I can walk under these branches
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new tree on hollow stump with daughter tree at base
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best of 4 100 year old gravenstines
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bent and broken branches under weight of apples
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 561
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Here in the Netherlands it's always rainy ... but these years (at least four in a row) it's more rainy during 'summer' (June, July), after a hot and sunny 'spring' (April, May). I am curious to see what the rest of the year will bring
This is the kind of weather slugs like: not so cold winter and then a wet summer Slugs like my veggies too ...
 
Charli Wilson
Posts: 302
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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We had two weeks of really sudden hot weather in May that made all my spinach and lettuce bolt, and it has barely stopped raining since. Tomatoes are still flowers or tiny green things, courgettes no bigger than my thumb, tomatillos and aubergine haven't even flowered yet, raspberries still green...

The rhubarb is as tall as me though, and the Japanese wineberries have a million flowers on- so some things are liking it!
 
Robin Katz
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Here in Denver (south of the jet stream) it's been hot and dry. Except for some hail storms a month ago that stripped my tomatoes down to stems and beat the heck out of everything else but the garlic. Almost everything is coming back due to the hot weather but it will be a delayed harvest for sure. I don't think that this is unusual for the Front Range in Colorado but it's sad to see months of work get beat up.
 
Deb Rebel
garden master
Posts: 1453
Location: Zone 6b
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Robin Katz wrote:Here in Denver (south of the jet stream) it's been hot and dry. Except for some hail storms a month ago that stripped my tomatoes down to stems and beat the heck out of everything else but the garlic. Almost everything is coming back due to the hot weather but it will be a delayed harvest for sure. I don't think that this is unusual for the Front Range in Colorado but it's sad to see months of work get beat up.


I lived south of there for a few decades. You need hail nets, definitely. Had a friend competition growing giant pumpkins in Denver proper and he took an old carport frame and put hail netting on it to protect his plants and fruit. And occasionally still got one that looked like the craters of the moon...
 
Robin Katz
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I agree about the hail nets. The only reason my tomatoes survived is that they were in cages, which at least kept them from being flattened completely. Nickel sized hail will do that.

We're looking at moving in the next year back to my old stomping grounds in eastern Washington/Northern Idaho. Too much heat and damaging weather here for my taste. Losing your whole crop to hail (which has happened in the past) isn't my idea of sustainable since it's my main source of veggies.
 
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Tiny lumberjack ad:

World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.
richsoil.com/wdg


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