Monday, May 21, 2012

Willamette Valley Weather Rings True

As I've mentioned previously, if Oregon weather has its way, it will be pouring rain through Memorial Day weekend.  Well, it's having its way.

The weather is expected to be gloomy and wet for the next week or so, it's staying in the upper 50s during the day, but will get as cold as 45 degrees overnight until the first of June.  So glad I didn't get over-excited by those 80 degree days and plant my tomatoes and peppers!  From what I've learned in the past, it isn't worth the loss of plants and weeks of struggling to plant them this early.  If I hold out until June I should still get good harvests (fingers crossed) and not have to worry about the cold, wet weather over the next week or so harming them.

This weather pattern is one of the reasons I decided to do consecutive plantings in the same beds this year.  Cold weather plants are either done or nearly done by June, with few exceptions; and the hot weather plants are ready to transplant at that point.  Last year my cold weather bed was nearly empty by late June, only the peas were still producing, and the hot weather bed had lain empty for three months before planting.

From the size of my tomatoes currently, I think I should be starting the seeds a bit sooner than I did this year.  Maybe the same week that the peas and brassicas are transplanted.

Obviously, learning the ins and outs of scheduling and planting in my garden space is still a work in progress.  The purpose of this post is to remind readers that a garden is always a work in progress.  You can live in the same home for 30 years, working the same garden soil during that time... You will still be learning new things about your soil, climate, microclimates in your garden, pests and beneficials for your area, plant varieties and how well they work for you.  It never really ends because a garden is a living thing (actually, MANY living things), and it will change and grow as your understanding of it changes and grows.

So this year my hot weather plants got a late start, but I learned from it and will adjust next year.  Meanwhile, I think I've finally got a good handle on the cool weather crops, though they will likely go in a bit earlier next year.

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