HAIL!

Not a great photo but you get the idea!

I’m beginning to see the advantages of container gardening.  I think we can all agree that we’ve been witnessing some odd and often destructive weather patterns this year.  This change from the normal (is weather ever really normal?)weather that we’ve come to rely on has turned many of our plans upside down.  I usually have early spring veggies planted in March and eagerly await the first tender leaves of spinach and arugula and those first spring green snap peas.  When the peas flower, I know that it’s time to prepare the other beds for their late spring tenants.  I begin hardening off the tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings and start anticipating a two day stretch of clouds and showers to get those squash seeds in.  Well, this year was different.  I got the first March plantings in and then watched them suffer under relentless rain and ping-pong temperatures.  The arugula persevered.  The spinach and peas were overtaken by an onslaught of blazing temperatures and choking weeds that I just could not get a handle on.  When it came time to harden off the starts, extraordinarily hot afternoons had me running around seeking shade for the babies.  To my dismay, many of them got sunburned.  I decided to plant them anyway – I had seen many other little sprouts rebound after a slight burn in the past.  What could it hurt?  Those starts had only been in the ground for a few short days when, out of nowhere, with no warning, a hail storm with stones up to a half-inch wide poured down on us and pummeled the seedlings.  This was the last straw for me.  Gray days, seemingly endless rain, jungle-sized weeds (with no break in the weather to attempt to control them,) steamy hot afternoons that averaged 12 degrees above normal, more garden-chomping insects than I’ve EVER seen, and now hail.

I moved some of the tomatoes and herbs to containers, re-tilled (for the fourth time) plots for beans, cukes, squashes, and sunflowers, and then – with a great deal of frustration – covered the rest of the gardens with plastic tarps to suffocate the weeds.  I turned my back on the peppers, eggplants, ground cherries, and melons and then, threw in the towel until the first week in August when I will, once again, dig deep for what little amount of faith I have left and attempt a fall crop.  Until then, I’ll be thankful for the farmers’ markets to supplement our scant summer bounty.  Hopefully they are having better luck than me this year!!!

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