Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cycling Through

Here on the Central Coast (and probably in other places where weather unpredictability is the name of the game), you learn to go with the weather patterns rather than fight against them.  We had our first heat wave of the spring season last week, with temperatures hitting the 90 degree mark.  It was also the week my cucumbers, which I grew from seed, were due to be planted. No go. Instead, I moved them outside into a shady spot to acclimate and held off on planting.
Can't wait to get these cukes in the ground. Mama needs relish.

Our weather tends to come in waves or cycles, and this week was a heat wave.  We also get "wind waves" which are possibly even worse for young plants than heat is. Most places around the country get "cold snaps" which are extremely cold temperatures which are temporary in nature. We get those sometimes, but extreme heat is usually what Mother Nature chooses to "bless" (!) us with.

And it all runs in cycles, for everyone. There are small cycles, such as heat waves/cold snaps, and larger cycles, such as drought/rainy cycles and possibly completely new cycles occurring due to global warming.

Success in growing things means learning to flow with the waves and snaps, not fight against them, whatever their reasons. It's, literally, the same thing as waves on the beach.  Fight the waves and the waves will always win.  Go with the waves and you can usually navigate within them to find your way either out to sea or to the shore, wherever you need to be.

I'm not saying to necessarily lay down and accept climate change without taking political action.  But in the garden, you can't fight it without losing your crop, so best adapt to what's happening and just get on with it. That also gives one a sense of productivity instead of helplessness. Work with what's happening and do what you can with what you have.  There's peace of mind to be had within that, whatever is going on.

So next week will be the time for planting not only my cucumber transplants, but also getting some pumpkins and summer lettuce started, because of course the heat wave also sent my spring lettuce into bolting. But next week the heat cycle breaks for a few days and we'll have seasonal temperatures once again.

In other news, one GOOD thing about the heat wave was that it gave us an advance start on killing most of our back lawn and kicked our baby squash plants into high gear.  Less water on the lawn means a bit more can be applied to the food crops. So, again, working with what's going on rather than against it, the heat does have at some advantages.

Global warming may NOT mean a world covered in water, but instead.....giant squash!?!


  1. Good points. My husband gets so frustrated with the weather and its affect on his garden. Too hot, too cold, too rainy, etc. He took up gardening because he found it relaxing! Ha ha. I try to remind him there is nothing he can do about the weather and to just do the best he can.

    In spite of his frustrations, he does manage to produce a lot from a small space. We have a wooded lot which doesn't get much sun. His square foot garden is in our only sunlit spot. He does a lot of vertical plants, plus containers he can move around.

    1. That's wonderful! I think it's so important to work with the spaces we have as well as the climate. And it's never perfect, so food growers get to complain about too much heat, too much rain, etc. always and forever, haha. It comes with the job I guess!

  2. Ah it does take us all a few seasons of fighting to actually accept our weather doesn't it? So wise and seemingly common sense to simply observe and respect weather, yet it's still hard (at least for me) to not engage in a battle of wills against the weather. Guess what? I've never won! Can't wait to see what you grow this year! It's been a very nice spring here and it's just starting to creep into the 80s. Hoping for at least a few more weeks of open windows before AC becomes essential.

    1. I agree, I love those "shoulder seasons" between spring and summer, as well as fall and winter, when you don't need the heat OR A/C. Glad you are having a nice spring, after your winter you certainly deserve it!