Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Bright, Sunny Day? Pthffftt!

I was so looking forward to the sunny, warm day forecast for today.  The plan for getting a satisfyingly fantastic, huge amount done in the garden was ripe and rarin' to go on my schedule.  The time spent outdoors was going to be so welcomed after our couple of days of rain and grayness and gloom and perfect biting bug weather.

Isn't gonna happen.  The day has dawned without a trace of sunshine, it's very cool and I'm afraid to venture out to see how bad the bugs are.  The weather report is now for "mostly cloudy" today and heavy rain tomorrow.  The inch-plus of rain we had in the rain gauge yesterday morning has made the soil soggy wet, and it seems like today's weather won't help it dry anymore than yesterday's dampness did.  Ugh.

This early summer weather of ours has been very wet and cool.  Great, I suppose, if I had planted an acre of peas or lettuce or spinach for market.  But even those cool weather crops need some sun for growth.  And of sunshine, we've been sorely lacking.

No problem.  (Grump, grumble, snarl.)  I can occupy myself quite well, thankyouverymuch, with tasks to be done other than in the garden.

One job will take me into my husband's workshop (aka my seedling starting center -- thanks to the kind, patient, sharing man I live with) starting broccoli and cabbage.  No, 'tis not for a second planting but rather this season's first.  I found out last year that if I didn't plant these particular veggies until around the first of July, I tricked the dreaded white cabbage moth which lays eggs in the plants which results in (ish-eeuuww-I-can-hardly-stand-to-think-of-them) worms at harvest time.  With this timing the broccoli and cabbage aren't available hosts at that particular cycle of the moth.

Also because some of our red and green cabbages get stored for the winter in the root cellar, when they are planted early and mature earlier, our root cellar isn't cold enough for good storage.  It took me many years (yes, bona fide slow learner here) to figure out this method which seems to work quite well.

Last year I put the broccoli and cabbage seeds directly in the garden soil and had only about a 50% rate of germination.  So this year I'm planning it so that I'll start the seedlings inside and have sturdy little, pampered, reared-under-grow-lights plants to set out in a couple of weeks.

Now I just have to mentally overcome another day of heavy, gray, cool weather and make the best use of my time.  But who knows?  Maybe the folks who don't seem to be able to reliably forecast the weather will be wrong (again!), the sun will come out accompanied by a warm breeze, the black flies will refuse to venture forth out of their dark, hidey-holes and I will be able to work in the garden.  This time of year, there's no place I'd rather be.

18 comments:

DFW said...

Mama Pea,

Sure wish I could send you some of our bright (& very hot) sunshine & 99 degree (& very humid) temps! Just being outside for a few minutes results in sweat soaked clothing. Makes it downright chilly to walk back in the AC.

Rain said...

We just came out of a 10-day stretch of cold, dark and rainy weather, it was depressing! We even broke our rule and put the heat back on a few nights in a row...in June, the humanity...I hope you get some sunshine soon. Ours is here today and hopefully staying now for the rest of the summer. But you know what I noticed? At least here in Northern Quebec, we have NO spring anymore; we have one week of a heat wave in mid-May, then November weather for a month, then summer until October, then a mild fall and winter only really starts at Christmas...I didn't have the money for seeds this year, but next year when I plan my garden, I'm going to plan for a shift in the gardening season to start mid-June and last a month longer in the fall...rambling here lol...

Sue said...

I'm sorry the weather isn't cooperating for you.
It's been ninety and humid here in Dubuque and I'd give anything for cold and rainy right now. I forgot just how muggy it can be down here. And let's not talk about the skeeters..............................
I never worry about you going stir crazy --you have too many hobbies for that, but I know how it is when you want (need) to get out into the garden and can't . Keeping fingers crossed for you.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Just doesn't seem right we can't blend all the weather and have it be juuuust right for all of us, does it? I know we'll get a good dose of sunshine and warmth come July. Our month of June can frequently be on the cool side. More rain than usual this year though.

Mama Pea said...

Rain - The description on your seasons sounds a lot like ours!

It's often mid-June before it's safe to put out warm weather plants and seeds. And it does seem that we're now going longer into the fall before we get a killing frost. I think your idea for your garden next year is a good one!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I did go out in the garden to do a few things today . . . but ended up getting bit pretty much by the black flies. Not a good thing. I could only work in the raised beds. The field garden was way too squishy. And I really, really need to get the potatoes hilled up for the first time. More rain (80%) forecast for tomorrow. Darn!

Go home to Michigan, you silly girl. Leave that heat and humidity in Iowa corn-growin' territory!

Laurie said...

Wish I could pack a dozen or so Mason Jars full of our South Carolina sunshine and ship 'em to ya. But, you would have to take the heat and humidity along with it. Love how you figured out how to fool the cabbage moths!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I would trade your weather for ours in a heart beat :-) It's in the 80's with a heat index up over 100. It's humid, and it rained earlier today.
Planting seeds a tad early in the workshop under grow lights really does help make for strong starts for your garden. I'm going to have to try your secret on fooling the cabbage moths. Last season, I found that if I plant zuchini and squash after June 30th I avoid the squash bugs. I may have to try that again this season.
Hugs, and love.
Sandy

Vera said...

We have had a very long spell of cold and wet weather here in SW France and could do with settled and sunny weather so things can get going in the garden, especially the tomatoes which refuse to put any second leaf on at all. Hope we both get some sunny weather soon.

Annie's Journal said...

It's funny how weather keeps us all going...be it hot, cold, humid, crazy etc...here in Bulgaria, we have cooler and wet early summer...last year wasn't right, this year still is not right...oppss, but I must learn not to complain anymore...just reap whatever we plant gives us LOL! But I wish you a better day tomorrow...and hope your veggies will know how to compensate you with all the rest:) BTW I do enjoy how you put humour in life, so I keep on visiting your blog:) hope you don't mind...

Kristina said...

I spent the entire day, aside from coming in to can jam, out weeding. There was cloud cover, and it was very, very dry. Hubby tilled in between rows, and we are ready for rain. It's very, very overdue in our parts. If it doesn't rain by 9am, I'll have to go water. And heavily.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - I'd even return the Mason jars to you! Another inch of rain last night. At this rate, I might even be able to stand the heat and humidity . . . for a day or so! ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I know you folks in the "south" have lots of trouble with squash bugs. That's one thing we don't have to deal with here. Seems you're having really high temps early this year?

Mama Pea said...

Vera - Curious how your weather and our weather seem to be so much the same this early summer, isn't it? That ol' sun up in the sky should be big enough to give both of us a needed garden boost, right?

Mama Pea said...

Welcome, Annie! Thank you so much for your kind words and do please keep visiting . . . and commenting!

Thanks for the reminder to appreciate all that is good, and go easy on the complaining. That's a good thing to remember!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - How totally different your weather is from last year! Better to have to water today than lose all you did last year from being under water! What kind of jam did you make? Oh wait, I haven't read your current post . . . I bet I'll find out there.

Fiona said...

We feel your frustration...if becomes a huge word..like if it hadn't had a heat index 0f 117 we wouldn't have given up on the last row in the south garden and the rain wouldn't have caught us again.......

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - I know what I have to remember is that frustrations are usually only temporary and can be worked around. But when you have a lot to do (as we homesteaders tend to have!), we just want to get a task DONE and be able to cross it off the list so we can go on to the next item! (Yep, not being able to do so is where the frustration comes in.) I keep reminding myself I'm fortunate enough to be living the kind of life I desire regardless of stumbling blocks . . . so I need to quit my bellyachin'! :o)