I grew up in northern California and southern Oregon, in gardens from my earliest years. My first gardening on my own was on the California coast. I moved here, nearly 50 years ago. Very few growing seasons have been missed, I didn't have gardens mostly because of moving my residence, I believe I can count them on my fingers but all within a 100 mile area, N to S. Some of those seasons were made up for because I worked on farms and at a greenhouse .rainbowgardener wrote:... All of this is VERY unusual by historical norms ...
There have been weather ups and downs, certainly. Years ago, the notion of another Ice Age probably got a little more local attention because so much of the geography around here was formed by glaciers. When actual climate change was first talked about in the 1980's, we experienced a "wet" growing season, locally. I remember thinking that, shoot - if this is what we can expect here, it isn't going to be too bad ...
This area has less than 20" of annual precipitation and less than 2" during the 3 months of summer. To have a 3 or 4 rainstorms and a couple inches of water spread over each summer month was great for the gardens!
It didn't last. One of the fairly recent, "wet" growing seasons was characterized not so much by rain but by cool, cloudy weather. The clouds just would not go away! A normal cool start to the season extended an additional month -- it was like trying to garden in alpine conditions.
More recently, the growing season has been characterised by not infrequent record high temperatures. If not quite drought conditions, we have still had very dry weather. I mean dry by not coming close to those 2" of summer rain we used to be able to expect.
Changeable has become the new normal. Outside of a very dry summer 2016, we have had adequate precipitation, including a record-breaker October rainfall! Last winter was warm but rainy and a snowy winter is predicted. Thankfully! We should continue to have an adequate aquifer for summer water. Continuing but no reason to think guaranteed.
We should learn from each other, in our varied gardening environments. These forums make that possible .