Sunday, June 08, 2008

Coldest June in 30 years!

We've been setting records for lowest high temperature in Cascadia this month. We had a burst of freak heat a while back, and nothing but cold, wet & grey since. Most crops & gardens are way behind, and now we have to start thinking about beating the first frost date!
Seven Trees is no exception. The only happy plants are the assorted greens and the potatoes. The corn, squash, peppers & onions seem to be in suspended animation, waiting for the sun to return. The beans have somehow miraculously begun to sprout, even though it's about 15 degrees colder than it should be. The tomatoes are pouting, and I've slowly been replacing the worst-looking ones with store-bought starts. Potato bugs nipped the heads off the melon starts in the greenhouse, but the replacements are coming up fine. Our real tragedy came to light today, when I noticed the previously happy-looking cukes wilting to nothing. Upon closer inspection it seems they have given up on summer and are starting to rot in the ground. So I started new ones in the greenhouse today, in hopes the weather will turn in time to get a crop in before frost.
Here are 2 ideas we're trying to mitigate some of our challenges. The potatoes are hilled with straw instead of dirt. This should give the tubers a place to form that the wireworms can't inhabit. I'll give them another pile of straw next week, and then we wait for buried treasure. The plastic doohickeys are rain ponchos for the tomatoes. Blight tends to spread and grow when water splashes spores from the ground onto the leaves. Now that we have soaker hoses for watering, we can cover them from most of the rain. Right now I have them down really low to act as mini-greenhouses. Hopefully they will catch & hold a little heat to help the plants hang on til the sun comes back. When that happens, we'll loosen and move the rain hats as needed to keep the tomatoes from getting too hot while staying dry.
Here's a batch of nettle tea (the garden kind) almost ready to use. I'll dilute it half with water, and scoop out the nettles to put on the compost pile. The plants really seem to love it when they're in the growth stages.
Stella, Doug & Nash, scrounging around the barnyard. I just locked them out of the grazing paddock for the night, so they have to eat hay (the roughage is good for them) and clean up some of the grass they've been ignoring. Still not sure about Stella's hoped-for pregnancy. Good thing Nash is here for another couple of weeks. And latest news is that we'll have Ryder here in August, so lots to get ready before we pick him up.
And this is what happens when you leave stuffed gators unsupervised overnight....looks like the dog toy version of an upset tummy. Or maybe Stewart was trying to make an artistic statement! In any case, another expensive toy bites the dust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One good thing about this weather however~ we will be fully conditioned for when Winter arrives again~ LOL