Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain. Rain. Go Away!

This spring has mostly been kind to us. We have had a few half inch rains, but then we get sun. The weather has been cold so there hasn't been much evaporation. I only felt that I had to water my plants once all spring and that was because they were just seedlings and didn't have their roots fully grown. But this isn't our usual spring weather. Usually we get a lot of clouds and some cold drizzly weather. On average we get an inch of rain every week. In fact our yearly weather is the same. Unlike the west coast with rainy and dry seasons, we get 4"+/- 0.5" every month with August at the low and November the high. So all year long we get a good amount of precipitation.

Of course those are all averages. And before this week we were running behind in May precipitation. After this week I think we will have caught up. It started raining late Saturday night. We have had a few pouring rains, but mostly it has been light drizzle. We won't have a peek of sun until the coming weekend. I should be used to these rains, but I'm not. I grew up in Colorado in the land of sunshine. When it rains for three days straight, I start to get depressed due to the lack of light.

Worse than the rain is the cold however. Yesterday's high was 49.5F. Monday's was 50.9F. It is cold. Really really cold for mid May. I think even my greens are hunkering down in that weather. I'm sure the spinach is happy though. And I'm shocked, but even some of the beans are germinating in this weather. The pintos (both kinds) have come up. The Waltham butternut has germinated in the cold weather too. My Black Futsu hasn't come up yet though.

The chamomile, above, had just taken off in the rain. I swear it had doubled in size since Saturday. I expect a lot of nice tea for the cold winter months. Hmm I think I could use some now. Brrrr. At least it is getting warmer today. We might even get to the mid 50Fs.

That ought to make my poor tomatoes happier. I don't think they like this cold and damp weather. But I can't see them under their plastic. I think when they get uncovered and we get some sun, I should spray them with aspirin and worm tea to ward off disease. This cold weather can't be good for them. At least hey are protected from the rain.

As for me. I'm staying out of the garden. I've got my eggplants and cucumbers to keep my company. They keep leaning toward the sun hoping to go outside, but I know better. They don't want to be out there in the cold rainy weather.


  1. We really need some sun and warmer temperatures. I took a break at bringing the seedlings out this week. I will begin again on Friday when the weather is supposed to be just cloudy instead of rainy (sigh).

  2. In France we are hot and dry, unusual for this time of the year. We are now suffering from drought conditions and the farmers look like they could be in serious trouble. As for my garden it is a big struggle to keep it alive. Diane

  3. The weather this week has definitely been weird. There hasn't been much fluctuation in the day and night time temps....everything has been at a constant 50 degrees. I guess we should be grateful that the temps haven't dropped majorly at night.

    I'm itching to plant my tomatoes out but it will have to wait until this weekend. Doubt they'd be doing much growing in this weather anyway.

  4. It's been a rainier/colder spring than usual near Seattle with temps in the 40s/50s. I planted bush beans 4/23 just to experiment. The Royal Purple Burgundy surprised me and germinated just fine. The Blue Lake and French rotted.

  5. I feel your pain with the cold and wet. Even my greenhouses haven't got enough solar gain since Friday to get out of the 50's during the day. I have had 4.7" of rain since Saturday afternoon. It is to continue all of next week also. I will have to weed both of my vegetable gardens even before I till. Every weed seed that has been dormant for the past 100 years has decided to grow.

  6. Do you have the power to send of that rain our way??? NM is bone dry with no real relief in sight!!! I'm catching water in the shower and carting buckets in fear of what this summer will bring :-(

  7. Envy your rain, our evoparation usually exceed the amount of rainfall we had except for very few months. It is very challenging here to grow warm veggies which are heavy drinker like corn and melon.

  8. Its been much colder here than normal and very wet. I haven't been able to get in my succession sowings in because the ground is just too wet. Suprisingly our beans have sprouted also. How far apart to you sow your beans, my seed packets said 2" which I think it was too close but this is my first time for beans.

  9. Rain here too but our temps are warmer. My goldie tomatoes are setting buds! Snowpeas are blooming in profusion.

  10. GrafixMuse, I did put them out this morning. I'm watching the radar and will bring them back in when the rain moves in again.

    Food, fun and life,
    Last summer we had a very hot dry summer which was hard on our farmers too. I keep hoping for an average summer, but so far I haven't gotten one.

    Thomas, I'm very happy about that. It is probably the reason the beans are starting to germinate. Plus when I planted them it was warm and the soil was getting very warm.

    Kelly, I hope mine don't rot. I don't have replacements for everything. But I did plant them in a week of warm weather. So they were on their way before this cold weather hit.

    wilderness, that is a lot of rain to get so fast. We had record flooding last spring, but this spring seems to be drier despite this spell of really wet weather.

    Bee Girl, I wish I could give you just a little of the rain the Mississippi valley is seeing. They really need the relief.

    Diana, I think I would garden very differently if I had such weather. I surely wouldn't use raised beds. Maybe sunken beds.

    Vanessa, I sow them 6" apart with two seeds in each hole. I'll thin to one and reseed if they don't come up. 2" seems a bit close to me for beans.

    Marcia, I can't wait for blooms on my snow and snap peas. They would really add to my variety in the kitchen.

  11. It's unusually cold and rainy here as well. I should be out in the garden setting out some transplants but it's too wet. Oh well, it gives me a chance to catch up on some of my favorite blogs!

  12. I hear you on the cold! Finally, we are expecting temperatures in the 70s all week. Even though that's still 10 degrees below normal, I'm not complaining. Hopefully our lows won't drop below 40 any more (night before last it was 35), but even that should be 50 or higher by now.

  13. Haven't had rain last few days, peas and spinach could use some of that, it's starting to heat up and I saw some burns on the pea leaves!

  14. We have finally had a couple of days of sunshine (I actually got a sunburn today working in the garden ... it's been so long since I had to wear a hat outside I didn't even think of it!) I'm always grateful that we live on a spring fed lake and have our own well, so water is never an issue, except for the buckets of it that pour out of the sky ....

  15. When the rain finally goes away, I hope it comes here. We are having a very dry autumn.

  16. I love the chamomile! I never thought of growing it... Next year I think!

    Winter seems to have come early to where I am! All the summer veg is out and nothing is germinating. The cold has taken me by surprise.

    I hope you get some sunshine soon!

  17. I feel your pain. Asides from a sunny stretch last week the whole spring here has been cool, damp and cloudy.

  18. We set two rain records last weekend... and we are known for our rain so you can imagine how much water we go in that 48 hour period! Luckily, the sun came out today and is supposed to be with us for a few more days. I am planning to uncover my tomatoes tomorrow while I am away to work and let them sun bathe. :D

  19. We've averaged 15-20 degrees below normal for the past several months. It's getting to be too much. I usually don't like hot weather, but a day or two in the 80's would feel like heaven right now.

  20. michelle, me too. I can't hike; I can't garden. It must be time to read.

    Granny, 70 would be normal for us at this time of year. You live in a hotter climate that we do. Luckily for us our highs and lows haven't been very far apart. One day they were only about four degrees apart.

    RandomGardener, so Minnesota has stolen all the good weather for the country? I knew someone had to have good weather.

    Deb, I did that a couple of weeks ago. I usually so good about covering up. I have a sun shirt and a sun hat to take into the garden on sunny days. I didn't use it. I got the worst burn that I've had in years and years. But it was one of those days I didn't expect to be in the garden long and just stayed all afternoon.

    Tracy, I wish the US could send some of our rain to you all. The middle of the US is having massive flooding.

    Phoebe, Chamomile is nice since it is a pretty little flower. Decorative and tasty.

    Dan, luckily for us we have gotten some sun. Before this long stretch of rain the soil was almost hot. The weather was still cooler than normal for the most part, but with my new raised beds, things heat up fast.

    Laura, wow, we set rain records last year when we had our record flooding. I think we got 11" in three days. Luckily this has been a drier year. I'm just going crazy with all the cloudy weather. Sometimes I don't even care about the plants. I just want to see the sun for me. Joel was complaining this morning that if we wanted this weather we could have lived in Seattle.

    Sue, I hate hot weather, but I like a little warmth. 70s would feel really nice right now. But I'd even take these temps if I could just see the sun.

  21. I feel you on the cold rainy weather. I don't think we've had a day without rain in weeks! I'm wanting to get some pretty flowers but I don't think anything will grow until it warms up a bit.

  22. We just need some sun. I have everything out in the ground, just uncovered my tomatoes yesterday, and so far all veggies are growing....but that may change if that sun does not pay a visit soon.

  23. Hi, Dephne
    Big fan of your blog.
    I have a question for you~
    Could you teach me how to make tissue paper seeds (you call them TP tape)?
    Thinking about planting some flower at my community garden, but I hate to thin out the plants, later (feels bad for the plants :))...
    Thank you,
    (I think your home garden is awesome!)

  24. Sunshine, I modified what Granny does with her seed mats. You can read her tutorial here:
    I find it hard to cover large mats with soil evenly so I do tapes instead. I like TP better than napkins because my tape can be as long as I want. I cut TP about an 3/4" wide and as long as I need. And I glue (Elmers) the seed down just like Granny does. And then hang them up to dry in my nursery (I have laundry lines in there so it is easy).

  25. Thank you so much, Daphne~
    I'll try TP method for planting flowers...