Late Summer Musings

It pains me to even type “late summer.” Nevertheless, as I was weeding (and weeding and WEEDing) last weekend (you’ll see more about that on Friday) I was thinking about what an unusual summer it had been.

Then I started to think about the last few summers, each of which had been different and “unusual” in its own way. And that of course got me thinking about weather. So here goes.

This summer’s weather, while not unusually hot, has still been notable for a few things. June seemed unusually cool, but it wasn’t (remember, I’m writing from Connecticut–it could be very different in a different part of the country, never mind a different part of the world!). What made June seem so cool was all the rain–and a few ridiculously cool 50 and 60 degree days.

July, on the other hand, seemed unusually hot–but again, meteorologically speaking, it wasn’t. There wasn’t 1 day over 100. Our hottest day was “only” 97. What made it seem so hot were the ridiculously high dew points–sometimes near 80! And the nightly lows were in the mid to upper 70s as well. That can make life pretty miserable for anyone without artificial means of cooling.

It also makes life rough on our plants. Under those conditions, fungi and other sorts of diseases produced by too much moisture run rampant. I’m not a sprayer, but I’ve had to resort to my milk and water fungicide more times than not this summer.

And of course, as I showed on Monday, this is the year that Bambi came back. Long time readers know that I am friend to all wildlife. I certainly never do anything to deliberately encourage it (other than provide habitat for beneficial creatures) but sometimes that includes getting creatures that are not so “beneficial” as well.

Normally I don’t care. But there are two reasons this is particularly upsetting. First, I am testing vegetables for a seed company and it’s hard to run a test if the plants keep getting eaten.

Next, I adore my homegrown vegetables and wait all year for them (even if I’m not testing). If I have to wait even a day or two longer because my tomatoes have been nibbled or my pole beans have been eaten, it’s aggravating.

But, that is nature, after all.

And as for the weather? This hasn’t been 2009, when it rained for just about all of the summer and the tomatoes succumbed to late blight early. This hasn’t been 2010, when we had multiple days over 100 degrees, and had to water incessantly–nature’s been kind in providing rain for us. And even last year was hotter and drier than this year has been so far–although I don’t really recall it feeling that way.

But isn’t that the great thing about memory? We’ll look back next summer and not remember how hot and miserable we were this year!

2 thoughts on “Late Summer Musings

  1. pbmgarden August 5, 2013 / 6:39 pm

    It is interesting the impression weather leaves on us. Sometimes I recall drought or deer or some other problem affecting the blooming of certain plants only to look back at my photos from that time to realize my memory is not completely accurate. I too have a reluctance to realize it is late summer. There actually has been a tinge of autumn in the air in the last week.

  2. gardendaze August 6, 2013 / 8:28 am

    Thank goodness for photos (or our blog posts) to keep our memories true. I rely on a fabulous 10 year garden journal from Lee Valley. It’s got a place to record high and low temperature every day and little weather icons. I go a bit further and record any precipitation amounts as well. And then in the blank space for writing I’ll record blooming plants, harvest or other less pleasant things like deer browse or insect damage.

    What’s so interesting about this journal is to see the patterns emerge over the years. Some dates are consistently rainy, for example, and some weeks are consistently cool.

    Other times there’s nothing consistent, including out memories, so that’s why it’s great to have the journal! Thanks for reading and sharing!


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