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Baby, it’s still cold outside!

by sheri
Wow, it’s almost late June and it’s still relatively cool in the garden. Where I’m at (straddling Michigan and Ontario this summer) we’ve only had one short-lived period where the weather was hot enough to really kick the vegetable growth into hyper gear. But before and after this mini heat wave it’s been a bit too cool to really see rapid growth in the vegetables. Lettuce loves cooler weather, of course, but my beans, my tomatoes, even my sunflowers, are all behind schedule. I’m hoping you’re not in the same boat but if you are, I think all we can do is wait this out. Which brings up the topic of patience in the vegetable garden. Gardeners do seem to be an accepting group, if the hobby attracts patient types or teaches us the art with time I can’t honestly say. Either way, we seem to keep on gardening in the face of ruin one year by unusually wet weather, the next by an invasion of bugs, and then there was the summer after Katrina when our Cucurbitaceae family of plants (squash, cucumbers, zucchini, etc) were hit by a virus blown north by the storm but which cleverly sat in wait for us unsuspecting northerners. All in all, it seems we might be at it again this summer, shrugging our shoulders at the variance in what nature dishes out and making due the best we can. And on this point, if I may offer a suggestion… If the weather continues to remain cooler than normal perhaps we should look for success not among the typical hot season crops (tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc) but instead among our cool weather crops (radish, beets, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.). We may well have to wait until early to mid fall to see a bountiful harvest but what a wonderful way that would be to end a season which is starting off to be so mediocre.