Cold Start to the Summer

herbantherapy
herbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

It’s the second week of June and I haven’t seen temps above 60 yet. My radishes aren’t even ready when I normally have those just before Memorial Day. My peas have flowers but no fruit and my beans are a measly 4” tall. If this keeps up I’m going seed out broccoli and cauliflower because why bother with peppers at this point?

Anyone else struggling to get a veggie garden going this year?

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Comments

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    oh, wow. Where are you located? I'm in SE Wisconsin (USA), and we've had a handful of days pushing 90 already, and vary between nice high 60's/low 70'sF and mid-High 80's.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm in south central Pennsylvania and it's so dumb but I've been fighting the weather ever since February.

    I never get to plant that early any year but my soil was completely ready to be worked in mid February so I started the garden. March was warmer than usual so everything grew pretty well. A couple of times a few nights would cause a little stress so row covers had to be added.

    Then came April and frigid weather the entire month. Even row covers were not heavy enough to keep the garden from shivering every day or freezing at night. May wasn't much better. Constantly having temps down in the 20's and 30's with even colder nights.

    Now we made it to June and today it was in the 90's. Yesterday was the high 80's. One week ago in the mid eighties, two weeks ago we were having frost every night.

    And would you believe it, I FINALLY got to pick 3 snow peas yesterday and 4 pieces today. It's been 16 weeks ago those peas were planted and now they are struggling because of the high temps. It's already obvious there will not be a snow pea harvest this year.

    My radishes did not do well either. Too cold for so long they just sat there and hibernated. They finally started to grow and the fruits to fill out and then the heat hit and they all turned hard from heat stress so most of that crop went straight to the compost pile.

    All of my Spring crops had a lousy season.They started growing in March and then immediately stopped in April and May. Now it's too hot for them in June.

    So all I can recommend is try some row covers to make a mini green house effect for your garden because the Summer temps are coming. And when it does, the change is so rapid the crops can not tolerate the difference.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 619 ✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy we would have been better off planting in April and May when the sun was shining and it was warm. I am just starting now and looking forward to sunnier weather in July, August and September.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,114 admin

    Unusually mild in this part of Australia. No frost yet, we don't get that many but this time last year, we'd had our biggest one in a while, which caught us off guard! Having a nice day or two of rain, which we really needed. Most of our deciduous trees are now skeletons. Lettuce, rocket, all the pea and onion families are doing nicely. Last of the chokos to pick and the brassicas starting to heart. Pretty happy have to say.

  • Leediafastje
    Leediafastje WA State, Olympic Mtns, Zone 8Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Ughh!!! I've been having the same weather problems you have @herbantherapy. My buttercrunch lettuce, merville lettuce, garlic chives, common chives, mustard greens and radishes are doing well (note: all cool weather plants that I expected to have started harvesting already). My tomatoes are sitting there thinking about surviving or not. My chamomile is bushy but without flowers yet. My peppers have died off. I am pleased my garlics have scaped and are ready to harvest ... before the rain rots the bulbs!

    I'll keep trying right along with you. Hopefully, we'll get some sun soon!

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 487 admin

    Yes!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,642 admin

    My rhubarb has tried to go to seed lots already, and it is still short. It should not do that yet. It has been hot except for a couple of very cold nights/days about 2 weeks ago. The winter hung on & then it was a cold spring for quite a while. It is still unusually dry.

    Tonight, it could freeze.

    I hear that our season will be short, and I believe it. I will be happy for anything we get out of the garden.

    It just can't make up its mind...

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 4,116 admin

    Yes, weird weather here. We had temps in the 80s in March, highs in the low 70s in April, frost in May and now we are back in the 90s. Nothing is growing right! Radishes and such mostly bolted before forming nice roots. Peas just gave up. Many plants have died from frost or extreme heat just two weeks apart.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 803 admin

    I actually am just getting around to planting my tomato starts today. June 1 is usually the day I plant warm-weather crops here, but we had a cold snap with temps near freezing, so I decided to hold off. Weird weather, although I'll admit to enjoying the cooler weather for myself (if not for my garden)....

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭
  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    it's been a yo-yo here (SE Wisconsin, USA) too. Two days in the 90's in the later half of May (HIGHLY unusual), then back to the 60's.. then another 90 day, a smattering of 80s, and today it's in the low 60's all day.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,114 admin

    @Christa Maloy I think you refer to it as arugula. In Australia it's widely known as rocket.

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    @Christa Maloy I am on the Central Oregon Coast.

    sounds like the weather patterns are funky everywhere!

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 3,533 admin
    edited June 2020

    I grew up not knowing that rocket was arugula. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I learned rocket has this other name. Arugula is known as rocket in Canada and Britain, as well as Australia.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball I'm in South Jersey, so not too far from you. We have been on the same temperature roller coaster.

    My kids who work at the farm and orchard were just told they will not be able to count on full time hours in the summer. The peach crop has pretty much failed. It was so warm that the peach trees bloomed in March and then everything froze in mid to late May.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Gail H oh, I am so sorry for your kids. I know how much they (I know I did) counted on those Summer jobs each year.

    But even more so, I am sorry to be so selfish but I have been afraid I was going to find this out eventually. I'm having all kinds of problems finding strawberries and blueberries for me to preserve for the next year. Since all my normal sources are telling me it is not going to happen this year, I have been afraid peaches were going to be the next bit of bad news.

    You've just confirmed that since my peaches always come from a farm in South Jersey, I'll probably be hearing from them with some bad news also.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 815 ✭✭✭✭

    We had a tense couple of weeks, but things are looking up now. We had the same general pattern as @greyfurball said, but not quite so extreme- very mild March, cold April, very up-and-down May, with some very late frost. Thankfully, nothing was frosted beyond repair, other than a few tomato seedlings.

    @greyfurball I was wondering if you've noticed much in the way of flea beetles. I don't think I've ever seem them so bad as this year. They were on just about everything, though DE seem to help. Maybe they just seemed so bad because I've actually had time to notice them. I've had a lot more time than usual to spend in the garden.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,642 admin

    I am seeing flea beetles unusually early this year.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba

    Yes, flea beetles are out in force this year. I think it's just because we had such a cold Spring they hibernated also. Then when it did turn warm (or hot is a better term for it) they all came out in force at once. Even with all my usual flea beetle procedures, I'm still seeing a lot of flea beetle damage that I don't usually have to worry about.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 3,533 admin

    A cold start to the summer, you say! There was 2 inches of SNOW on one of our highway mountain passes this morning. Just north of the US border so I wonder if there was any in Washington or Idaho.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 815 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, @LaurieLovesLearning, so its not just a Pennsylvania thing then.

    @greyfurball Most of my plants were able to outgrow the flea beetles, but I had two tomatoes that, as far as I could tell, died from the flea beetle damage.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,642 admin

    When the gale force winds finally stop here (it has been virtually non stop drying high winds for weeks), I hope to put my tomatoes & mustard out.

    I don't expect the mustard to last more than a day.

  • bcabrobin
    bcabrobin Posts: 252 ✭✭✭

    Here in the mts. in West Central PA we had 38 Friday night & 42 Sat night. Everything is growing very slow.

    My dad always said "Never plant till after the last full moon in May", we had 22' that night

  • MelissaLynne
    MelissaLynne NE Washington🌲 Zone 5aPosts: 205 ✭✭✭

    I’m a couple miles from the border in NE Washington. It’s been cold with lots of thunderstorms and some hail, but no snow... maybe in the passes though. We’re at about 2400’.


    my garden is definitely off to a slow start. I’ve been feeling bad for the tomatoes that I put in too early.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 280 ✭✭✭

    Same problems here in SW Idaho. Hot, dry early spring weather, then cold and rainy, nights are STILL not consistently even in the 50's, 30-degree daytime temperature swings every week. Kale and broccolini bolting before sprouting usable sized leaves or flowering heads, hot crops struggling. FINALLY planted beans but they'll probably rot. I let a lot of plants go to seed, so I'm learning which ones will survive and be useful in the face of climate change. So far, Red Dragon mustard in a clear winner.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,642 admin
    edited June 2020

    @Suburban Pioneer &@melissa.chally Welcome to the TGN forum!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey YIKES! Snow still? Oh my. I will be grateful that I don’t have snow !!!

  • Nancy A.Maurelli
    Nancy A.Maurelli Posts: 44 ✭✭✭

    Shifting weather patterns are definitely a factor in growing food! I have been using "season extension" tools to help mitigate problems:

    1) starting seeds inside and growing under lights to get a head start and have hardy young plants to put in the soil when the weather cooperates.

    2) using floating row cover to offer plants protection from wind, heavy rain, insect and other predation, and moderate temperatures slightly. I had the best leafy greens EVER growing them under row covers (OR in unheated hoop house).

    3) succession planting, i.e., repeat planting of same crop to replace older plants that may not survive weather, predation, disease, etc.

    4) grow varieties that are well suited to your area/climate.

    5) save seed from plants that have done well for you and use for next season. I find my saved seed is much more vigorous (and eventually creates well-adapted plant varieties) than any that I purchase.

    NEVER GIVE UP!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    @Nancy A.Maurelli so far 10 years in the garden And I can’t seem to successfully start seeds indoors. I keep trying though!

  • danielle.meitiv
    danielle.meitiv Posts: 30 ✭✭✭

    I hear you - I'm not far from you in Central MD. Today is the first really hot day (90 degrees) and it's late June! The sweet potatoes are finally taking off as are the cukes.

    On the plus side, my lettuce is getting bitter but STILL hasn't bolted and I planted another crop of them in a part shade spot to see if I can keep them going.

    If I'd known we would have such a long cool period I would have planted more peas, brassica,s and potatoes this spring! Oh well.

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

-Mahatma Gandhi