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Hi, I'm a newbie to DG and just wanted to know if anyone has any tales to tell of the changes in their gardening methods or the plants they now grow? I moved here to Ireland from the UK two years ago and we have had no summers at all during that time - just rainy day after another rainy day. I'm not used to gardening in bogland and have given up - I am growing in containers and planning a couple of raised beds. But am I doing the right thing? I'm especially interested in growing vegetables but are there any types of veg you can grow in extremely wet conditions? I mean on ground that NEVER dries out.
This year I grew some of the red flowered heritage broad bean but they haven't matured. I've grown broad beans in very wet soil last year and they produced a reasonable crop but this year - no luck.
This year has given me some new puzzles to deal with. The summer has been so cold here. Day temperatures have been 5 degrees or so colder, but the night temperatures have been cold.
As for crops, it has been hard to raise melons and peppers with the cool weather. My tomatoes have done well. I've had some new things such as phosphorus deficiencies to deal with, but overall my tomato crop has been awesome this year. We'll be canning tomatoes for the first time in years.
This cooling off of the climate will make it hard to grow some southern crops in zone 5.
As for soil that never dries out. You might try raised beds that are covered by cold frame or plastic row covers.
It's been cold here too Griff. Day temperatures have been hard pushed to get into the high teens and this week much lower. It was so cold at the w/e I lit a fire! I too have had a great crop of toms - even if the season was quite short. I grew San Mazano for the first time and they will definatly be on my list for next year. Things like aubergine and courgette have come to nothing - rotting at the ends is a big problem with them and they are grown under cover too.
The seasons here appear to be merging into one long one which can't seem to make up its mind if its autumn or spring. The winters are much warmer than they used to be with only the odd frost and a couple of snowflakes and if anything not quite so wet.
If you have any info on canning I would be really glad to hear it. It's something I've been interested in for a long while but any decent equipment is difficult to come by here. Any info on sites who ship would be appreciated.
BTW could you reccomend a small bush variety of heritage toms I could grow on my balcony? I grow regular varieties of bush types like tumbler but am finding it difficult to source heritage ones.
Our weather has been very strange this year. It was 96' F in San Francisco today...this is the city that prompted Mark Twain to say "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco".
We've had unseasonably warm weather earlier in the spring, followed by cooler than usual nights later in the summer. The past two weeks have been a heat wave. Send some of your rain our way - we're having a drought and water wars.
My conclusion is that I need to be ready with the shade cloth and frost blankets, as either could be needed in any given week.
I just wonder if I should change some of the varieties I grow to keep up with the changes. But I'm not sure what types will appreciate the wet - especially good old fashioned plants.
Good luck with the shade cloths and frost blankets Mermaid.
Thanks mermaid, that's what I am going to do. I have a couple of Japanese cucumbers on my order list already and am looking out for other types of veg - trouble is there diesn't seem to be much in the way of heritage types which will take this new weather. Oh well, trial and error I guess.
Oh that's not a problem - I have a 6 x6 heated greenhouse, a 4 x4 propagater, a 5 x 3 coldframe and if I get really stuck there's my other half's office with it's big windows, skylights and central heating. I'm a master at shuffling things around and using the house as a plant store till the weather turns a little less inclement. Just ordered a roll of fleece too. Prohibitve expense? What's that then ? LOL.