Worst summer in living memory

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
User avatar
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285306 diggernotdreamer
Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:03 pm

So, in North West Ireland, we have had the worst summer in living memory, and that is according to my 73 year old neighbour. It has been cold in the evenings from June onwards, cold enough to need the heating on to take the chill off the place. Seeds sown did not germinate and why would they when the night temperatures for most of June didn't get above 4c. Only now are things starting to germinate and there is a little more warmth in the evenings. The salads I sell did not grow well, the ones that germinated out of the 40 or so different things were the red varieties and some of the cos types. They did not grow well and after putting on a bit of growth decided to give up and go to seed. You can count the days it did not rain on both hands in August. The hay I normally cut is still in the field, maybe September will be my month to get it cut and dried. Don't even get me started on my tomatoes, usually by now, I have picked hundreds, bottled passata and sold quite a lot, but they are only just starting to ripen in any number.

In spite of not having made any extra cash this year, we shall not starve, we can always eats spuds and onions, the leeks are coming along and the winter brassicas which did not do well are starting to put on a bit of growth.

We don't know what next year will bring, but what can we do to ensure that we have things to eat, these are the issues that faced our ancestors, they didn't have the luxury of supermarkets and being able to buy what they needed. How can we overcome what the weather throws at us

User avatar
doofaloofa
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:50 am
Location: Wesht Cark, RoI

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285307 doofaloofa
Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:30 pm

Is there a difference between living memory, and what a 73 year old can remember?
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8370
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285308 Green Aura
Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:58 pm

I agree dnd it has been pretty awful. Not so far inland from here there have been regular reports of 2C at night on higher ground or hidden glens. There was a snow warning in the Cairngorms last week or the week before! The garlic is still in the ground, having failed to bulb - we'll probably have to pull it up and use as it is. To be honest the weather has been so awful we haven't felt like going out and weeding etc so my lovely little veg plot is a bit of a shambles, but as nothing much was growing anyway, or bolting so quickly we didn't get chance to eat it, it hasn't felt like it matters much. We'll get a few leaves off the Daubentons kale later, the tree cabbages and the leeks are looking good but everything else is a bit of a bust.

And the slugs beat me to our only strawberry. :crybaby:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1544
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285309 Flo
Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:48 pm

You know we must have a little micro climate all of our own in Northumberland. We've not had the rains of the rest of the country - in fact we've been thinking drought. The temperatures have been up and down mind. It's been passable fair out on the allotment. Runner beans are very late as are the borlotti beans but we shan't starve. We've had some bolting - there was a patch of leeks that started that way but managed to save about two thirds of them. Shortage of plums locally due to a frost at the wrong moment but whatever we have some.

Don't think it's as bad as the very wet summer of 2012 where June/July did a wipe out.

User avatar
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285311 diggernotdreamer
Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:13 pm

Flo wrote:
Don't think it's as bad as the very wet summer of 2012 where June/July did a wipe out.


We had non stop rain that year as well, but it was warmer, I still harvested tomatoes aplenty and even though it was not boiling hot, I still managed to make hay in August in the 5 consecutive days it didn't rain. I think this year has been very cold. We didn't get the heatwave that happened in England. The blackberries are still flowering here, so is the woodbine, there are no sloes ripening and my discovery apples are just starting to show signs of getting larger

User avatar
Marc
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:14 am
Location: East Sussex

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285312 Marc
Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:43 pm

It's been a difficult year. Not as bad here as you've had, but there's been quite bad drought in Sussex. There was very little rain for about 3 months, from around the beginning of May. The ground got so dry that I was watering nearly all my veg every couple of days, and I could never give it enough how ever much I put on, it just disappeared into the surrounding parched soil.
There's been masses of wind though, everything getting battered on a regular basis, and it's been pretty cool most of the time. Tomatoes very late to ripen - I only really started picking them about 2 weeks ago. Runner beans very late also.
Now of course it's started raining in earnest - now that it's too late to benefit things much :( - not sure if squash and pumpkins are going to mature in time to ripen before winter :?
Oh well - nothing's ever perfect :wink:

Good luck to you all, and let's hope for a smoother ride next year :flower:
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein

tosca
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:09 am
Location: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285313 tosca
Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:54 am

Over here in Bulgaria we have had the opposite problem. It has been the dryest and hottest for fifty years After last year being the wettest for thirty. So British style crops did OK last year, this year even the local varieties have suffered...and forget the British!

In theory we should have had a good tomato year, and it seemed to take off well, I got loads bottled and chutneyed. But the relentless 40C temperatures were literally cooking the fruit on the plants. They looked OK, but wen you touched them, they were juicy and the skins just caved in. Brassicas, after early success with red cabbage, have been awful and bitter. We had a few picks of broccoli early but then it stagnated, the caulis are brown and blown, romanesco pathetic. We had four days of rain last week which split all the tomatoes and squash but we are back to the 40s again, though the days are shorter so early mornings bearable, at ten last night it was still 27...thank goodness we had invested in an air con unit for the bedroom. September is going to be hot and dry still. Forest fires are everywhere. Plants in the garden are withering despite water as air temperatures dry them out

So crops which need starting in cooler weather, roots, brassicas, peas and beans, and which are supposed to have a second season, have not been started. The carrots and beets from spring plantings split as they got older but were usable. Failures include onions (bolting and chomped on by mole crickets) very small, potatoes, many planted but after a good start with the earlies, a poor yield and blemished and chomped, so most have had to be processed and frozen, the cellar is very warm but the few potatoes we put down there are coping at the moment. So two staples a disappointment. The leeks which we hoped would replace the onions are still pathetically thin. Garlic did OK and it has been a great soft fruit year. Trees have been turning brown for weeks.

So we will not starve either, the preserve cupboard is full, as is the freezer, we have fruit and cordials if we want something sweet...and honey, it's been good for that and we have plenty to keep us going. The goat's milk is easing off and will go down to one milking a day but we have frozen a lot in the milk freezer which we will make cheese from when we have more time. The chickens have been through their big moult and are starting to lay again, the ducks have finished for the year, most of their eggs have been sold to pay for poultry feed (they have been brilliant all year)

I hope next year we all have more stable weather. I have heard that some parts of Spain have had drought, some parts have had horrendous storms and hail and severely affected crops. Good luck everyone.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4877
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285319 Odsox
Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:13 am

I've held off replying to this post as it might be seen as boasting, but it's not really.
Like Flo I garden in a micro climate close to the sea and because of that I never see extremes of temperature, either high or low.
I got my first polytunnel in 2005 which up until then I couldn't see much use for one. I could see it would be useful to protect my crops from the wind, but could also see that maybe that wind could also play havoc with a polytunnel.
Anyway a long story short, I discovered that not only were tunnels really really useful, but more or less necessary and so after the terrible wet summer of 2007 I ordered another one.

The reason for all this rambling is that this summer has not had too much impact on my growing, other that everything is a bit later than normal. The temperatures have been a bit low but not dangerously low, the lack of sunshine didn't affect the tunnels as the solar radiation through the clouds heated them to 20c -30c during the day, the incessant rain doesn't affect under cover crops and the unusually high winds (for summer) of course had no effect either.
So the decision I made to get 2 tunnels to go with my 2 greenhouses and conservatory, and my clear roofed potting shed, have paid off big time.

Outside, the fruit is rather strange in that we have had the biggest crop of cherries and are going to have the biggest crop of pears since the trees were planted. Apples are variable, some are good and some are not so good, but that happens most years.
So really the only affect of this year's weather is peeing me off getting wet every time I had to go out in it. Now if only I could build covered walk ways between my house and the tunnels/greenhouses ........
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
doofaloofa
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:50 am
Location: Wesht Cark, RoI

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285321 doofaloofa
Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:40 pm

Yeah, it does sound like boasting Tony ;)
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8370
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285326 Green Aura
Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:48 am

Odsox wrote:Outside, the fruit is rather strange in that we have had the biggest crop of cherries and are going to have the biggest crop of pears since the trees were planted. Apples are variable, some are good and some are not so good, but that happens most years.


My mother always reckoned fruit trees had good and bad years alternately. We've used up the next millenium's bad years so I'm looking forward to a spell of good ones now. :iconbiggrin:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4877
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285328 Odsox
Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:03 am

Green Aura wrote:My mother always reckoned fruit trees had good and bad years alternately.

She was right, the Victoria plum is well known for being loaded with fruit one year and nothing the next. I have a Worcester Pearmain apple that's similar, loaded with fruit every other year and hardly any the next, where my Discovery is always loaded whatever.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285343 diggernotdreamer
Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:39 pm

I have lifted the rest of my spuds today. It has to be the worst harvest I have ever had, but it is better than nothing. More than enough potatoes for us, but sadly not enough to sell any on.

Magpie
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:40 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Worst summer in living memory

Post: #285346 Magpie
Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:38 pm

Ugh, we've had the worst winter I can remember, so I'm hoping for a great summer. May up sticks and go if it's not! You all aren't giving me much hope...


Return to “The ish Local - (Chat)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests