March 16, 2015
Yes, we have yet another newer hotter year.
It seems to be affecting my McIntosh apple tree. Warren Marnhart, the late former president of the HOS, explained that some varieties, like McIntosh, do well on the west side of the Cascades, in which it is cooler during ripening time, and some do better in East OR or WA, where it is still hot.
It feels like we are getting enough heat units where we are now like the old East side of the Cascades. Remember how we would get a hot day (85 +), then a warm day, like 77, then a cloudyish day and they would rotate during the summer?
Are you all seeing this effect too?
June 21, 2015
Hi John, you ask an excellent question.
My orchard and kitchen garden were very much affected by heat in several ways.
I had to spend a lot more time watering, even though my trees are mulched.
Peaches were smaller and harder.
Apples are ripening now. The first few were not as flavorful. I don't know yet about the later ones. This will be my first Jonathans, Porters, and Arlie Red Flesh.
It looks like the persimmons will be smaller, unless they fatten up with the fall rains. Their vegetative growth was excellent in this heat.
My few garden blackberries were actually very good. Juicier and sweeter. Maybe because of the heat, and watering. I'm fairly new at horticultural blackberries.
Deer are much more voracious this year. This year they climbed on and pushed under my tree cages, and pushed them down - the most aggressive they have ever been in my yard. I guess because they need more leaves for their water content, or that watered trees have juicier leaves. They are also not timid now, so now I get within about 10 feet from them and they still stare at me while I shoo them away. They even eat the sprouts from Himalayan blackberries, a first in my yard. These animals are turning out to be a limitation on my orchard efforts, and the reason I'm planting less next year.
In the vegetable garden, sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, and peppers, love the heat as long as they get watered. They did very well. Also, collard greens, which were massive. Squashes did not do as well with the heat.
I think we will need to re-learn some of our gardening as climate change affects what we grow and how we grow it. That may entail, thinking about what varieties we grow, whether we need to use shading for some, such as berries, and mulching practices among other things.
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