A New Gardening Paradigm

digitS'

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I would like not to use that word. It seems pretentious ... but, that's another highfalutin word, my mother might have said. But, paradigm -- it's a pattern, a set of examples creating a model.

I wonder if many of us aren't wondering if we will have to adjust this year and the coming years to a new gardening climate. Oh, and there is that word! It has been so ridiculously politically charged ... well, what are you going to call it? Weather patterns that provide some sort of model ...

What is happening right now in eastern US is that winter isn't quite willing to give up it's grip, the meteorologist says. Wow. How about severe, lingering winters?

What is going on here, here? The temperature is supposed to hit 70° today. You know when the first day it hit 70° in 2014? It was the last day of April ... we went on to have one of the hottest summers in 120+ years of records. So, we are a month early for this warm milestone, just as we were a month early hitting 60°, a few weeks ago.

What are you complaining about? That's nice weather, not like some other places. Maybe that's what some are thinking. Well, I'm thinking that after living and growing things here for right at 50 years, I'm needing to figure out how to adjust to this. Maybe, in your neck of the woods, you are looking around and thinking about the same.

So, where is my new model, new example, paradigm? Well, the south came north ... No it didn't. South of here is higher elevation country! Even way south, now you are getting into @peteyfoozer country. Central Oregon is a lot like here, we just go down hill while going hundreds of miles north.

Do I look back to my childhood days hugging the California border? Several "spells" of 100° weather every summer. Sure, I can live with that ... meanwhile, where I grew up may be burning up, this year ... It may be burning up here. Okay, madrone and poison oak, it'll take awhile for the white oak to get up here. Completely different soil. This is glacial till. That stuff, along the Rogue River was like adobe. Should be able to shake what I've got now off my boots a little easier, if it rains.

digitS'
 

Ridgerunner

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Steve, my average historical last day for freeze here is around April Fool's Day. Somehow I find that appropriate. Last year I had freezing and about 1" of snow May 1st, set a record for the latest measureable snow ever recorded here. A couple of years before that my last freeze was somewhere very early March. I did not notice exactly when because I sure didn't expect that day to be remarkable.

Last summer was relatively cool and wet for here. I did very little watering. A few years back you may remember stories of a fairly severe drought and ridiculous heat wave. I don't normally get much rain here in the middle of summer anyway but going from mid-May until early September without any rain, well my water bills set records, especially with temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above normal. Those temperatures sucked what little moisture there was in the ground right out.

Each year is different. I try to adjust on the fly, but gardening requires you to decide on what you are planting and varieties well ahead of knowing what is going on. I think we all have to be optimists at least to a certain extent. I don't know what to expect for this summer. The first part of this year was warmer and a lot drier than normal, then we hit a short spell of cold weather. Now it is staying so wet I have a real hard time getting anything done in the garden. I normally get my cool weather spring stuff in very late February to mid March. I just got some of that in a couple of days ago before we got that 1.5" of rain.

One summer of record heat is not proof of global warming. One summer with relatively cool temperatures is not proof that the globe is not warming. it is a cumulative effect that averages out over the entire globe. Weather patterns are based on heat which affects wind. If one area is unusually warm that will change wind patterns so other areas are unusually cool. But when you're talking about the globe, you are not talking about the conditions at your place or mine. You are talking about the cumulative effect across the globe. And you are talking about trends, not an instantaneous snapshot.

There is an article in this month's National Geographic about why people don't accept science. I'm not going to go into details but you might enjoy reading it. The science shows that the Earth is trending warmer and that is having certain effects. The projections for how much warmer we will get and what those effects are going to be are theories based on studies of the past and present. How accurate those theories prove to be will only become known through time, but I'm glad I'm not living on the coast for the next several decades. Well, at my age consider that very few decades.
 

NwMtGardener

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Wow, today is gorgeous!! Made it outside for 5 minutes while my lunch was getting cooked, then back to the grindstone to finish up my 12 hour day...why couldn't TODAY be my day off?!
 

Beekissed

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Doing the same. Adjusting my gardening before I need to, trying to stay ahead of the curve...always. Going to Back to Eden style gardening wherein the covering layer of wood chips preserves moisture when it's too dry and disperses it when it's too wet.

It will also allow me to plant in the garden without having to wait until it's dry enough to till, while letting me leave some things under the chips until I'm ready to use them, like root crops. Will also help me have more winter crops as the chips will act as an insulating layer.

They also say the wood chips seem to act as an additional filter that filters out the chemicals and heavy metals they are spraying in the sky~supposedly to prevent global warming :rolleyes:~and manages to keep the soil at optimal levels of all minerals and nutrients while keeping the proper pH as well.

Covering the whole garden with the chips will also allow me to abandon row type gardening when I need to do so, so that I can do more square foot gardening and companion planting, thus producing more food on the same sq. footage.

Going to a no-till will also get me to a place where I don't have to depend on fuel driven tools in order to plant. If I need to build up chips and have no more source for them, the trees around me drop a bounty of leaves and small branches each year that can be incorporated into the mulch covering of the soil.

Trying to get to a place of more ease and sustainability in the garden, as I have with chickens. Hope to also save seed this year by letting the more perfect specimen from the tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, cukes and squash rot/ferment in a protected place in the garden so that I can then clean the seeds and store them for the following year. Will also dry some sweet corn for the same purpose...yeah, I know replanting a hybrid may not yield consistent results but I'm willing to take that chance.

Most of the veggies are heirloom seeds except one of the maters and the sweet corn.
 

so lucky

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I think we are just going to have to come up with ways to work with the weather, which will require vigilance on our part. Realizing that if we don't get the crops out early, they will burn up in the summer heat, but if we get them out early, they could get nipped by frost. That the mulch I use to retain moisture may also encourage rodents, or rot if it rains too much.
I think we will have to plant several varieties of crops, to cover all the likely weather extremes. Heat tolerant, cold hardy, early, late.
Right now, at this time of evening, the whole thing sounds like way too much work for me. I'm sure I will feel more enthusiastic and ready for the battle in the morning.
 

thistlebloom

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I think we are just going to have to come up with ways to work with the weather, which will require vigilance on our part. Realizing that if we don't get the crops out early, they will burn up in the summer heat, but if we get them out early, they could get nipped by frost. That the mulch I use to retain moisture may also encourage rodents, or rot if it rains too much.
I think we will have to plant several varieties of crops, to cover all the likely weather extremes. Heat tolerant, cold hardy, early, late.
Right now, at this time of evening, the whole thing sounds like way too much work for me. I'm sure I will feel more enthusiastic and ready for the battle in the morning.

So basically we should all expand our gardens, right So Lucky?
I must be on to something, I have been enlarging beds for years. :confused:
Now if I can be smart enough to do the heat tolerant, early, late, thing too.
 

Beekissed

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I'm playing with an idea to get crops out earlier and maybe yield something a little more hardy. Thinking about planting my seeds in the fall, covering them over really well with the soil and chips and, in the spring, uncover the rows and see if they will sprout in place and do well. I'll also sprout indoors as per usual in case it's a complete flop, but I'd like to mimic volunteer plant cycles/behavior to see if one can do intentional "volunteers" for some types of veggies.

On the BTE vid the fella does his potatoes in that way...he digs them up as one would, then puts the largest potato from each hill back in place and covers it up. In the spring that potato is already in the ground and growing eyes, already starting a new plant.
 

digitS'

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Happy Earth Day :).

Including this one, there was frost at my house every April morning that it didn't snow. That was twice and the snow was accompanied by rain and didn't last into the afternoon.

It's 70° and 6pm. After such a warm winter the temperatures evened out a little. Maybe we will be blessed with some growing season rain :).

Steve
 

digitS'

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Well, it's Earth Week.

This is what I get for thinking I understand something on the radio.

The 22nd is Earth Day. I'm sorry to have misled you. By that date, the forecast is for a 74° afternoon followed by a 50°, overnight. Both will be the warmest so far this year.

Steve
 
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