The weather

happyday(WI4a)April 17, 2011

Hope everyone is ok after the recent storms, especially our friends in North Carolina.

We had strong winds here for several days that blew my buckets and tubs all over the field and a few hours of light snow at the end. Not hot enough for tornadoes here yet.

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Not hot enough for tornadoes here yet."

Not exactly true... we had one go through just North of me a week ago. I was far enough away that I couldn't see the funnel, but the family & I were watching the lightning. If you've never been near a tornado, lightning at 1 second intervals or less, in one specific location within the cloud, is a warning sign. Sirens went off for me an hour later. Fortunately, no loss of life here.

So far this year, we have had 3 strong Spring storms; we even had hail & "thundersnow" in March! The sun is finally coming out of its long solar minimum; after two quite summers here, this could prove to be an active year.

The South got hit pretty hard. My best wishes for anyone affected.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 2:24AM
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jwr6404(8B Wa)

I usually have my tomatoes and beans planted by this date. I did plant my beans last week. In a discussion with several neighbors several stated that,according to the news media,this has been the coldest April ever recorded in our area.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:09AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Same here, tomatoes will be potted on in the greenhouse, not go out until the 1st of June, I have all the beans I'm growing in tubs started, they will stay in the greenhouse for now.
I also have some beans for outside started, they're all looking good, a few I've even potted on and can put a support in if they start to climb before I get them in the ground, since I don't grow large quantities of anything this is very doable. I'll cut the pots if necessary when planting out.
It looks like the weather is going to be a repeat of last year, maybe worse :(.

Annette

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:34AM
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deanriowa(4b)

Almost 80 last week and freezing rain and snow yesterday. Spring has been fun!

Dean

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:24PM
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drloyd

It has been another very cold and wet spring so far. The central Pacific surface temperatures drive our weather here and the Pacific is still in La Nina conditions left over from last spring.

However, that region is warming and it is now only 0.4 C below normal. Climatologists are now saying that they expect neutral conditions by June. Last year at this time the central Pacific was cooling. There is hope! - Dick

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:14AM
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soilent_green

April has been very poor here. Windy, cold, cloudy, rain/sleet/snow showers. Three sunny days out of the last 15. I am now two weeks behind in seeding my early spring veggie garden. Haven't been able to uncover all the garlic beds due to saturated ground. I tried to uncover one bed but boots got stuck when I sunk into 6 inches of mud. Had enough of that - they are on their own now. Haven't been able to plant onion plants and now they have spindly 6" shoots on them. Onion and potato sets are sprouting in storage. Everything outside has either stopped growing or slowed down considerably. Very disappointing, especially being so excited to get to the gardening after such a long winter.

The April farmers' markets around here are dead. They are also going to struggle when May comes around - sellers won't have much to offer and what they do have will be mediocre.

When finished with this post I am going to put on my winter gear and mud boots, and go out in the rain to try to plant my sad, spindly onion plants in the mud. What a bummer...

-Tom

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:09PM
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deanriowa(4b)

Now it is raining here everyday, 2 inches so far today alone. :(

No chance of tilling my garden for a couple of weeks, and that's if it stops raining soon.

Dean

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:22AM
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happyday(WI4a)

Dean, we just got your leftover rain. :) More to come over the week.

I've gotten tired of waiting til mid May or later to till then everything all at once, that's why I made raised beds. The peas are in and coming up, also seeded are all the greens, 4 kinds of pak choi, chard, collards, borage, cabbage, brussels sprouts, the strawberries are coming back to life. I bought onion plants for the first time and they are in. The onions are the red Mars from Dixondale, anybody ever grow them? Do they really get as big as a child's head?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:15PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

The sacrificial lamb has just been planted in the raised bed cut into a bit of a slope. If this Tennessee Cutshort looks as good a week from now as it does now I'll plant the rest. The greenhouse is looking very beany right now, but it's time to start some more, I'm hoping most of the ones I've already started can go out the 1st of May. Bird Egg #3 is looking good and the Barksdale are looking better than I expected from the immature seed I harvested last fall, time will tell.

Annette

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 1:18PM
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mawma(6 AR)

I still haven't gotten anything out. Have some plants to put out but with all the rain & weather, haven't made it. So it will be alitte while yet for me.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:49PM
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deanriowa(4b)

mawma, I hope you made it through last night tornadoes without issues, and thanks again for the beans.

I planted some radishes, lettuce, and Kohlrabi last night and sunk 6" plus into mud. Looks like another late start this season.

Dean

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:06AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Slightly OT, it was all over the news up here about the horrendous tornadoes that swept so many states, leaving total destruction and so many dead. My heart goes out to all that have suffered loss of life and property.

Annette

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:15AM
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deanriowa(4b)

It's been perfect weather for planting around here, but off course my tiller went down and now that I have it back the rain has arrived for the next 4 days, I am still shooting for planting June 1st. I hope it won't be to late for Pole beans.

Dean

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:09PM
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drloyd

La Nina conditions still exist but the central equatorial Pacific surface temperature is almost up to normal. Here in the PNW we had a record cold April with an average high just over 52F. May has stayed about the same with about one day in 10 making it up to normal. The ten day forecast is the same with only one day forecast to be up to normal. Rainfall records were broken here in May. Some people around here do not believe in global warming.

On a brighter note, dozens of beans are emerging in their peat pots. Summer will arrive. - Dick

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:58AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Ha, we are having the coldest spring in recorded history here. The first 2 really nice days we had this year I was incapacitated and now the weather is back to blah.

This year I started almost all the beans in the greenhouse and am happy to say the half dozen Bird Egg#3 I transplanted and had under hot caps for a few nights are starting to climb their pole. Both Barksdale and Tennesse Cutshorts are starting to climb netting and Insuk's Wang Kong the only one I direct seeded are popping through.

I'll be starting more beans in the greenhouse in the next few days, but my list keeps changing because of the acquisition of yet another heirloom bean from Japan. I mentioned in another thread I had acquired some old seed of a Japanese variety NAGATOMO WHITE BEAN, well they didn't germinate but being the determined person I am I tracked down the original source thanks to my son and now have some fresher seed, fingers crossed.

Annette

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 12:23PM
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drloyd

Beans climbing poles??? I am so jealous!! Evem though you live farther north, summer arrives there so much earlier.
- Dick

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 1:23AM
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drloyd

The central equatorial Pacific temperature has finally touched normal and we are finally having a few days with normal temperatures and even a couple days above normal!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 11:19AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Same here drloyd, the beans I had planted out are starting to take off, some of the ones I have in tubs are flowering, Tennessee Cutshorts and IWKs are starting to climb their netting, Mr. Tung's will be any day now. Barksdale is also starting to climb but the leaves are slightly yellowed probably from the lousy weather we've been having I think I'll give them a little epsom salts and some liquid seaweed, see if that perks them up a bit. Bird's Egg#3 are lookin good:).

I haven't planted all I had planned to, had a little hitch in my getup and go for a couple of weeks, having one's gall bladder removed right when you're in the thick of getting things planted throws a monkey wrench in the works. I'm back in action now so will plant some more beans in the greenhouse today, if this weather holds they should grow gangbusters.

The latest heirloom bean given me, the one from Japan has sprouted. This bean is from the area where the nuclear disaster happened but my seed is from 2006 so it's OK. I hope to be able to share a few seed in the fall. It grows to about 4 feet I'm told, so I guess you'd class it as a half runner. It's supposed to be pretty good either green or dried and doesn't mind cool weather.

Let's keep our fingers crossed the weather has finally turned for the good, so we had a lousy spring let's hope for a great fall.

Annette

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 2:38PM
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drloyd

The central equatorial Pacific is back into negative temperatures (La Nina conditions). All of the next 10 days are forecast to be below normal here in the PNW. This is a great summer to see what will grow in adverse conditions.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:35AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Dick, it looks like we're going to have the same kind of weather, the Mr. Tung's I started in the greenhouse on May 2nd and planted out on the 25th have topped their pole and have loads of flowers, the weather we've had hasn't seemed to faze them at all. If the rain doesn't stop in a couple of days it might be to try out the raincoat I concocted for my Bird Egg#3 :). Everything else is doing OK so far.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:32AM
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happyday(WI4a)

Annette, does epsom salts help beans? Have you used them on beans before?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:07PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Happy I haven't had my soil analyzed in a long time so I really don't know if it was weather related or a soil deficiency but my Barksdale started out with yellowy leaves. I gave them a dose of ES and some liquid seaweed, they started to green up about a week later.
I didn't start out with the best of seed, had to pull the vines and leave to dry in the greenhouse last year. This year when I planted them out they sulked for awhile but have picked up, look OK now. They're starting to flower so hopefully we'll get at least one feed, I'm leaving the first beans that form for seed.
Not wanting to overdo the ES I used one and a half teaspoons of ES and one tablespoon of liquid seaweed to a gallon of water.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:35PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

We're still having sunless days in the 60's, some with rain, yesterday it poured. The raspberries are getting mildew, I have never had to deal with this before 8(. I stuck a clear umbrella in the top of my conduit bean pole where I'm growing the Bird Egg #3 I was really surprised how dry it kept the leaves almost 2/3 down the pole. On the whole the beans are hanging in altho they're in slow gear. Two exceptions the Mr. Tungs and surprise, Bird Egg#3 planted out later than most of all my pole beans this one actually has lots of beans forming. The weatherman says we might have a couple of days of sunshine this week, I say promises, promises.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 4:33PM
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happyday(WI4a)

Lucky you. We got a couple good rains and now heat in the 90s for the rest of the week with no sure rain in sight. When we do get it, it may be a destructive storm :(

Expect BE#3 to stay in slow gear for about 2 months for beans to mature

*lols at your umbrella

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 4:59PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Happy save you're lols till later, if this weather keeps up BE#3 has a fashionable new raincoat to wear 8). I'm pretty sure I will have that 2 months they need but won't be doing the happy dance until I have the dried seed in hand. If it works I'll put 3 poles of BE#3 in next year and actually get to eat some.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 5:57PM
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drloyd

58 F yesterday! Today is supposed to be 77 but the rest of the next 10 day forecast is for below normal. Some days above 70 though.

Annette I made a note of Mr Tung's to try here.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 9:26AM
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drloyd

We entered deep La Nina conditions in 2010 giving us in the Seattle area the latest 75F day ever and a very cold wet May and June. The rest of the summer was more normal.

La Nina conditions continued in 2011 with a brief touch of neutral surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific in early summer followed by a return to colder than normal temperatures there now. Atmospheric conditions have remained in La Nina conditions so far this summer - much cooler than normal here though hot elsewhere.

Meteorologists are now saying that there is a 50% chance of "another" La Nina ahead. Really a continuation of this one as far as atmospheric conditions are concerned. Possibly my Bird Egg #3 plans for 2012 may have to be postponed.

Those who want to follow the equatorial Pacific temperatures can use the link below and select NINO3.4 SST. - Dick

Here is a link that might be useful: Equatorial Pacific Temperatures

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:42AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Looks like I'll be starting all the beans in the greenhouse again next year :(.

Annette

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:58AM
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drloyd

Annette you did an amazing job this summer. Your beans are way ahead of mine. I am trying to figure out where to put 300+ gallon pots next April and May! ;-) Dick

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:33AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Dick, I guess there's something to be said about having a small garden. It's just my obstinate nature, when I'm told something won't work I think to myself 'we'll just see about that' of course if it doesn't work mums the word LOL.

Here's a pic of the BE#3 taken this morning, there's some fatter pods but it was easier to take a picture from this angle, the pods with the red streaks are starting to yellow on a lot of them now. I still have green pods which might or might not form seed, depends on how our weather holds. I'll have more of an idea next year how many to leave for seed, we will eat the rest.

Annette

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Annette, that photo of Bird Egg #3 is gorgeous and enough to make anyone want to grow it just for ornamental value alone. I can't wait to hear your harvest results.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 7:13PM
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drloyd

Annette that is an amazing photo. They are far ahead of my shorter season shellies such as Borlotto Solista and Borlotto Stregonta. In fact they are far ahead of any of my shelles. It appears that they tolerate a cool summer fine if given a very early start. Dick

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:48AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

The september rains are finally here, still mild but today it's pouring. I have seed harvested from just about all the beans I planted even a handful of Tobacco Worm, more if the umbrella trick works and it doesn't blow away, they say we might have winds up to 80 mpr today.
Samos Greek Lima (runner) planted late is producing succulent green pods which we are eating as soon as they are big enough, sliced on the diagonal and steamed for a few minutes yum. Shellies will have to wait for another year that is if I can leave them alone long enough for them to mature, I have enough seed for another couple of years so not worrying about saving any this year.
The only other bean I'm hoping to get seed from is the Insuk's Wang Kong (black seed), the pods are fat with beans but need another couple of weeks on the vine.

How about everyone else, have you had a successful year, any surprises, failures? I had a good year even after a slow start, the only failure was the Chinese Red Noodle in the greenhouse not even one flower.

Annette

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 1:05PM
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drloyd

Climate here in the PNW and many other places is largely controlled by the El Nino Southern Oscillation or ENSO for short. This has to do with ocean temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific. PNW temperature rise and fall with ENSO temperatures. Other places may experience large amounts of rain or drought.

Except for a few days last June, we have been in below normal ENSO conditions since May of 2010. The Climate Prediction center just released this statement yesterday: "La Nina is expected to transition to ENSO-neutral conditions by the end of April 2012". Good news for bean growers in this part of the world. - Dick

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:54AM
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