Sunshine and showers…

… no, hang on, that should read ‘torrential rain’.

So far this June we’ve had more rain than in the two previous Junes combined. This, of course, provides challenges when it comes to growing and I have been especially grateful for the limery. I potted up all my pepper and chilli plants with a view to trying to raise some outdoors this year, but then the wind and rain arrived and it seemed unlikely they would survive outside, so in they came. Some of the other plants weren’t so lucky and I lost several patty pan squashes that were still in pots – I think they simply drowned.

Nevertheless, we are now eating lots of home-grown food and that is always a joy. I have three courgette plants in the limery and they are way ahead of the outdoor ones and already supplying us with food. The jalapeno chillies (red and purple) are producing fruit, as are the sweet peppers, although none are ready to be harvested yet. We’ve already eaten lots of lettuce and many potatoes. The peas are starting to flower now, so I’m hoping for some of those soon and the little herb garden that I planted up a few months ago is doing well – especially the oregano.

As climate change takes effect, I feel that I’m going to need to be much more responsive to severe weather, so that having both indoor and outdoor growing space available will become increasingly important, as will growing in pots so that plants can be moved in response to the weather (this year potatoes, peas, beans and squashes/courgettes have been planted both in the ground and in pots). So far this year I have managed to nurture a variety of crops, but there will always be years like 2018 when, after the early summer, we were unable to raise things like lettuce because it was simply too hot. This year I’ve diversified somewhat and so we have carrots, parsnips and sweetcorn in addition to our usual vegetables. For various reasons, I haven’t grown any of these for ages, but I think it’s time to have a wider range so that if one crop fails, another might succeed. In short, I am trying to build more resilience into my garden and I hope that this means we’ll be able to supply even more of our food than before from the limited space available.

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18 Comments

  1. Timelesslady

     /  June 20, 2019

    We had those torrential rains last night. So far nothing has been beaten down. I always have problems with my zinnias in heavy rain,but they are too short to worry over now.

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  2. Building the limery (a word auto correct does not like, but I do ☺️) was such a brilliant idea. It has not only extended what you can grow, but for how long. It is wise to think about beyond this season’s growth, which looks pretty lush!

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  3. I think the limery will help with the wacky weather as climate change continues and greenhouse-type systems may be a smart choice for veggie gardeners in the future (with openings to allow in pollinators, of course. As ever…very jealous of your productive garden (although i have managed to enjoy several rounds of snap peas already).

    Our weather has been all over the place. Temperatures go from 18C one day to 30-35C the next and we’ve hardly had any measurable rain (maybe you could send a few clouds our way) for weeks. It’s frustrating and scary, especially in the face of certain Orange creatures recently abolishing all climate regulations. Ugh, now I think I better go look at my flowers for a while.

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  4. It sounds like you’re approaching the point where you need to tropicalise your garden. Raised beds with sharp drainage, shade areas for tender stuff like lettuce, and if that rain continues, regular top dressing to replace the leached nutrients. I can’t grow lettuce here either, but I did have some success with replacements such as Malabar spinach, molokhia, Chinese cabbage, and so on. I’m feeling rather cheerful today because yesterday we discovered the rather wonky banana tree in the back yard is fruiting 🙂 We hurried to bag the baby stem so the possums and flying foxes don’t get the lot before they’re ripe.

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  5. This is great. I was excited to see your sweet corn. You’re right that adaptability will be a requirement (provided it isn’t already) for good gardening. Looks as though you’re in for a good season.

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  6. I keep hearing about the rain in the UK – it seems you are experiencing an early summer similar to ours six months ago. Rain, rain and more rain which eventually settled late in the season into a hot summer that lasted until about a month ago – the rhythm of the seasons are changing as well as the content. I think back to when you first built the limery and the upheaval it caused and the joy when you actually got to move into it. It’s amazing what you are growing in there and I’m pretty sure you two can adapt your outdoor garden area too.

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  7. All that home grown food is so good for you, as well as being satisfying to produce. In the UK we do have to be prepared for all weathers.

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  8. Sue

     /  June 21, 2019

    Having spent several lovely hours sitting in your Limery, I am quite jealous of it – definitely a superb investment. And of your early crops – I must be more organised this year so that I can at least have early broad beans.

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  9. After having deduced what I thought was a Limery I did a search and came up with your previous post so I was correct in my thinking…Love your dedication to growing your own..We do but as my climate is tropical it does bring other problems…it is not cold enough for many root veggies like parsnips and swede…whereas other veggies thrive ..swings and roundabouts and the torrential rain does batter the rice hence this year we have changed to a lower growing rice to combat that…Everything looks lovely…. well done

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  10. Climate change will bring many, many challenges. That limery is a gem.

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  11. If only we knew in advance what the summer would hold regarding the weather so that we could plant. But hopefully we have seen the last of the incessant rain.

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  12. Your veggies and herbs are incredible, what a brilliant achievement! Re climate change: from what I understand, the earth’s climate isn’t doing anything it hasn’t already done in the last hundred thousand years.

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    • Our very variable climate over the past few years is certainly providing some challenges, but we are learning how to deal with them and having the indoor growing space has made an enormous difference to productivity.

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