It's been a long time since I've had a gardening season that has been so challenging.
We started spring and the first half of summer with very cool, very wet weather and a lack of sunshine which did nothing to get my little plants and seeds off to a good start.
Everything was slow, slow, slow. Then without a period of gradual warm-up, temperatures that were hotter and more humid than normal arrived. Along with nary a drop of rain for weeks.
Cool weather crops that didn't even thrive in the previously cool weather came to an abrupt halt in the broiling temps.
The veggies needing heat started to grow but without any moisture other than what we could provide by watering, which you all know is simply not the same as natural rainfall, haven't developed properly.
Then we turned the calendar to August 1st and, just like that, our temps dropped again leaving the garden, and the gardener, more perplexed than ever.
We're down into the fifties at night and not much higher than the sixties during the day.
I'm still waiting to get a second picking of peas and beans have barely formed.
Flea beetles are making lace of all the brassicas left in the garden. Brussels sprout plants aren't producing any sprouts. Cabbages aren't forming heads.
The cabbage moths set up housekeeping in my second planting of broccoli which ended up so infested with worms that the poultry feasted on all those heads.
Cucumbers and peppers started to form slowly, but now are wondering where the heat they need has gone.
Birds have attacked our blueberry crop, and we've had to cover the bushes hoping we still get a partial harvest.
Pumkins and squash are green, tennis ball size at the biggest.
Oh, my. Such a dismal picture I've painted.
I'll admit I have a strong urge to let my Debbie Downer thinking take over and start to clean out the garden, calling it quits for the season.
But. Hope springs eternal, and there's still a chance (please say there is) this weather will blow away as quickly as it came and we'll find ourselves in a long, beautiful end-of-summer/fall period of perfect growing conditions. It really could happen. And then I'll be totally embarrassed that I carried on in this grump-dump, hissy-fit sort of a way.
No, it's not the end of the world. But I do feel responsible for providing a large part of our food supply for each year. And this year, I don't see how we could have our usual plentiful harvest.
I've made lots of notes for next season to help, at least, work around some of the garden's difficulties, but bottom line, it's hard to fight Mother Nature.
We won't starve. To say we're so much better off than early pioneers who had no alternatives regarding their food supply other than what they could grow themselves is an understatement. We won't suffer anywhere near as much financially as a hard-working farmer who loses his field crops and income due to the whims of the weather.
And none of this will keep me from feeling eager for next year's garden. So please excuse my grumbling this chilly Saturday morning. I think I've gotten it out of my system by all this grousing.
Now I may just go start a small fire in the wood stove in the kitchen to take the chill off the house. The view out the windows of the leaves on the trees starting to turn color (yes, they are) is kinda pretty.