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Summer seed sowing16 August 2012
Call it Climate Change or Global Warming, regardless of label there is just something about 2012 when it comes to funky gardening weather. Wet summers and early springs wreak havoc with even the best-laid gardening plans. No wonder too many gardeners and backyard horticulturalists are blogging and writing about their anomalous gardening experiences in 2012 so far. For example, many gardening books and annual gardening guides suggest that gardeners prepare an area by removing its stones and weeds. After applying some compost, gardeners are to keep crumbly and light tilth to sow on to the area. Well, this advice is for “normal” times. Sadly, 2012 is hardly “normal” due to the amount of unseasonable rain so far.
The good news is that if you are using heavy soil, you can get away with planting heavy seeds like legumes (beans and peas, for example). Sadly, given the amount of moisture, if you try planting carrots and salads, you would just be wasting good seed. Heavy soils retain water quite well, and this is precisely the problem with planting salads and carrots. If the water volume isn't enough of a problem, the overall temperature is also way cooler than usual this time of year.
Thankfully, intrepid backyard farmers compensate for some of the curveballs Mother Nature has been throwing their way by growing vegetables in modular trays in greenhouses. Once robust seedlings are ready, they are planted straight to the ground and this gives them a fighting chance against the moist and damp nature throws their way. Given current weather patterns, many gardeners are continuing to plant this way until the wet weather, hopefully, eases up in the future. Ideal plants for this method include lettuce plants and herbs.