Garden diary 01.-31.07: July from a nightmare

rollinggarden Avatar

July has been a month from hell; honestly, I couldn’t wait for it to end. Unlike last year, when we spent most of the time watering the plants and cooling down during the evenings, this year summer is almost non-existent. We get a couple of warm days followed by a big storm, and that’s all we have of this summer.

Supercell July, 13th

Storms every couple of days

In the last 30 days, we had 9 big storms and 17 rainy days. Although the amount of rain is almost 3 times the normal(250mm in July), the temperatures have been quite high, fueling the storm clouds over the Alps. We get two days with temperatures over 30°C(86°F), and then a big and quick storm. The last storm was Sunday, and today we’re expecting another one to hit us.

Storm Sunday 30th

So far, the storms damaged lots of roofs in the area, gardens have been ravaged, and people injured and even dead. We’ve been without power multiple times already, the longest one was over 24h. Our landline was down due to the lightning which also burned our phone, and the wind did some damage around the house.

Luckily our roof is concrete, and the whole garden is covered with anti-hail netting, so we didn’t have any more damage. But still, every two days we have storm preparations, the wait to be hit, and the cleaning after. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve cleaned the balcony and yard from the flood water, broken twigs, and branches this month. We’ve been unplugging the devices multiple times a day to save them from the lightning, and although some of the hits we’re right next to us, none of the devices and appliances(except for the phone) have been damaged.

Garden during the storm month

Of course, this kind of weather wasn’t too generous to our garden either. Luckily the garden is located on the north side and protected by the woods, so we didn’t have a lot of wind damage. 90% of the damaging winds past 30 days were south and east winds, which can’t reach my vegetable garden, so we had no broken plants. Also, the anti-hail netting stopped the few occasions of hail we had. Still, since we got huge amounts of rain the garden is quite behind schedule.

Beans, brassicas and parsley
Tomatoes and zucchinis

Actually, when I look at the garden today, I have a feeling like we skipped 2 months and we’re already in September. The soil is soaking wet. So wet that I can’t even walk around the shaded part of the garden. The work that needs to be done is on hold, and the only thing I do right now is harvest the vegetables.

There are strawberries here somewhere

The breaks between the storms and rain and just too short to do any decent work. The morning temperatures are quite low, some days even below 15°C(59°F), and the soil just doesn’t get the chance to dry. I still have old peas inside the garden, which are now completely dry, but I wasn’t able to move them. When we do get some dry days I harvest and fight the grass and that’s all I have time to do.

Old peas are still in

Everything is behind

Even the side garden and front yard vegetables are suffering with this weather. The powdery mildew is spreading around the zucchinis and cucumbers, and there’s not much I can do about it. I cut down the infected leaves, but there is no time to spray them with anything as the rain periods are just too often.

The seeds of autumn plants, which I’ve sown in early July, are just starting to germinate but are growing really slowly. I should already have quite big seedlings and there are still no true leaves on them. Judging by the year we’re having that’s not a bad thing since I think I won’t need them at all. If we continue with all the rain it will make the garden unreachable by the end of August.

Seedlings for autumn

Did we expect this?

After the cold and rainy spring we had was I surprised by the stormy July? To be perfectly honest not really. I was expecting a very rainy summer, but I didn’t expect all the storms we were having. We did have many stormy summers, some stronger than others, but it’s been a very long time since we had supercell storms forming one after the other. Last week we got 3 supercells hitting us in a period of 6 hours.

I did expect a colder summer. Usually after a very dry summer, we get a very rainy one, and usually, they are 5 years apart. We had a rainy summer in 2008, 2013, and 2018 and I was counting on this one also. In May I even told my hubby that we should leave the swimming pool packed in the box this summer. I was certain I wouldn’t need it. It was the right decision. It’s almost August, and I’m still wearing long pants, so we really don’t need a pool this summer.

No pool this year

Plans for August

My only plan for this August is to survive the storm period and focus on the next season. This season is lost. Although some of my vegetables are still doing good, many of them won’t give any decent fruits. We will harvest beans, carrots, and tomatoes, but the rest is pretty much lost. Also, the orchard is empty. The storms threw down all the fruits, so there will be nothing to store for winter. I might buy some fruits if I manage to find some, to make a winter jar supply.

Everything moved to the side garden

I should start sowing my late balcony vegetables, but I just don’t think this is a good idea. My balcony is empty right now, and this never happened. I gave up on fighting the storms and took all the pots and containers to the side garden. It has netting which protects the plants, so there they at least have a chance to stay alive. I can’t continue moving the pots every 2 days before the storm, and if I don’t move them they fly down the stairs.

The balcony was never this empty
July 21st

If the weather finally stabilizes we could save some of the vegetables and have a couple of decent harvests, but judging by the forecast, this will not happen any time soon.

The next 10 days don’t look good

rollinggarden Avatar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Articles & Posts