Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Heat

The weather has once again gone from cool to hot. Not just hot but really freaking hot. My hopes for getting radishes were dashed with the heat, and I fear my chances of getting decent kohlrabi as slim as well.

Radishes and all members of the brassica family; such as kohlrabi, cauliflower, and cabbage, are considered cool weather crops. Generally considered great crops for Canada due to the cooler air temperatures and lots of sun.

Unfortunately, over the last few years the summer temperatures have been getting hotter and more humid. The summer thunderstorms that used to keep our water tables full, our gardens watered, and worked to keep the daytime temperatures a little cooler have all but disappeared. Instead we get a few showers, just enough to wet the ground and raise the humidity, early in the day followed by a hot sun that cooks the plants in the ground.

Besides not being enough water to do the plants any good, the excess of humidity in the air encourages blight and mold to set in further damaging the chances of a good harvest. Once blight gets into your garden you are in the deep end. Without a long, hard freeze to kills the disease in the ground, blight will come back year after year to destroy your crops. The only thing you can do then is not plant the affected crop again.

So once again climate change raises its ugly head to make it harder to be self sufficient and to feed ourselves at home. Whether a natural cycle, a man made disaster, or a combination of the two Climate Change is bad for the home gardener and must be making it hard for the farmers to get decent crops. In the end it means food prices are going to go higher and we will be forced to eat more food imported into Canada rather than grown in our own back yards.

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