digitS' wrote:I am curious about gardening where there is both summer heat and frequent rains.
Are leafy greens possible through much of the growing season? I know that some things are best grown early and late. It's even true here but the arid conditions during the summer months must be the problem as much or more than the heat. Pests are a factor but weather conditions are partially to blame and make the plants vulnerable. How many weeks of "salad and stir-fry weather" do you enjoy, Gumbo?
The nearest Weather Service recorded just over 1" of rain over about 18 hours. I guess it failed to top a daily record (.95") because the rain fell on 2 different days. The rain was quite localised and WS stations 15 miles on either side picked up 1/4" or less. That gives you an idea - even a 1/2" of rain isn't common here and usually never occurs once the solstice is passed ...
My main problems in the summer are heat and humidity. Where I live, New Orleans, we have crazy summer heat and humidity, and it is the humidity that takes the biggest toll in my opinion. My tomato plants are usually gone by mid July between fungal issues and the daily heat index that is almost always in the 107+ range. By August, our "Dog Days of Summer" when it is simply oppressive to be outdoors, many of my garden plants are either dying or just hanging on. The only plant that thrives in our summer heat is the okra I plant every year. It is heat and drought tolerant.
Swiss Chard is the only leafy green that will grow into our summer months, but the weather will eventually get to it. I'm amazed I still have a small patch of leaf lettuce to pick from at this late date, but I do know it is short-lived and likely will bolt in another week or so.
My best garden time for greens is from October until March in most cases. The temperatures are mild, rain more consistent, less pests and somewhat lower humidity. We seldom get below freezing weather for more than a night or two in a row during the winter months, so almost all fall greens survive until spring. This year my kale and last falls lettuce crop bolted at the same time around mid March.
As for things like spinach, not going to happen now and I won't even attempt to put any seeds in until the early fall months.
Right now things are all going great, but that will change as it heats up, and to be perfectly honest, I don't particularly like working in the garden in the summer months. You either do it very early in the a.m. or right after sundown. My garden plot in the middle of the day in July and August is sheer torture.