And I am not alone.
Victims (not quite casualties but close): hostas and carrots and maybe the cukes too but the latter did produce. They just slowed down during and after the wicked heatwave we had.
So I made it to The Big Easy. But my troubles are not all at an end, my friend. I don’t like what I’m hearing. I met a gardener from Oklahoma who said they’ve been without rain for about two months. Said she went away for two days and came back to find her petunias and other flowers all wilted or dead. Another friend outside Chicago put as her Facebook status that someone had murdered her cilantro (I think that same killer was on the loose in my herb garden). When I was talking to a fellow reveler in Carmel, IN a couple weeks ago, she had to stop mid-sentence because it started to rain, something they hadn’t seen in many weeks (may also have been a couple months). She and her father commented that a lot of people would be stating out their windows at that moment. All other folks, too, across the country have been telling me their global warming woes. Hope about you?
QUESTION: what’s your take on this wacky weather? Are we getting globally warmed? What does your garden have to say about it? Are you changing your approach in response? Will this change what you do next year? How so?
Go ahead … Gimme the dirt!
No doubt the climate’s been warming up, and although we can do our little part to help reduce CO2, no matter what we do it won’t make a noticeable difference for years to come. Our little gardens should make us appreciate farmers who make a living from whatever it is they grow- and in turn feed us. That doesn’t mean we should give up our gardens for lost. Instead we need to rethink what we are growing.
First, I would think of growing things we can eat. If you grow nothing but flowers now, put aside a few square feet and plant some edible things. Many food crops produce flowers with the benefit of having something you can eat.
Second, something I am working on is finding food crops that thrive in hot climates and need little water. I think it is time that we start growing things that are in a zone or two warmer than we we actually are. Here in New York (zone 6) the heat has been more like much further south. Down south the weather has been more like in the tropics, in many cases without the rain.
Third, make note of what grew well, and what didn’t this year. Also, if you have things growing in containers make note of where they are located. One advantage of containers is that they can be moved around to get more or less sun. Of my containers that were suffering in the sun, I relocated them to where they are more shaded and it made a noticeable improvement. Using deck rails, or shade from trees to provide more shade may make a big difference.
Fourth, think of planting fall crops. Try things that are cold tolerant since winter may come in real fast and cold after summer.
Here in New York, zone 6, my basil, bamboo, and sage are loving the weather. After moving the container for more shade, my string beans are getting their second set of flowers. Scallions and onions, both good in cooler weather have been doing well with a little extra shade. I’ve been harvesting a scallion stalk daily and they keep growing back. Swiss chard in a container has done well since moving it for more shade. My sunflowers grew in the ground but were small, same for my couple stalks of corn (no corn yet). On the dark side, my cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, and broccoli rabe have suffered. Escarole started from plants grew one crop then fizzled out.
What grew well for you this season? What didn’t? What zone or state are you located in?