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Shortened growing season...

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  • Shortened growing season...

    Okay, hopefully not so bad as that, but what if a couple of middling volcanoes threw up, sub-Pinatubo-style ?

    Stratospheric aerosols will so knock a bunch of degree-days off the growing season. Hopefully, your kitchen-garden plans include spare seeds lest a late frost kill the first planting, with cultivars that may be eaten 'small'.

    Oh, and plastic 'tunnels' / cloches / mist-netting that will mitigate frosts, acid ash-fall and theft by starving wild-life...

    I've seen onions, parsnips, beet and carrots suggested as examples of tough kitchen crops whose 'thinnings' may be eaten before the main harvest...

    Thoughts ??

  • #2
    The two easy foods you can grow as long as you have light is green beans and potatoes, They do not need much tending and can survive just about anything.


    • #3
      Originally posted by RICHFL View Post
      The two easy foods you can grow as long as you have light is green beans and potatoes, They do not need much tending and can survive just about anything.
      But, choose your potato cultivar carefully, as several commercial varieties favour yield over resilience, may fall short in a bad year.
      Sorry, there are pest control & blight issues, too. I don't know enough about spuds to call it...


      • #4
        Shiveluch volcano Stratovolcano 3283 m (10,771 ft) Kamchatka

        currently erupting, aircraft warnings, ash riding 'polar vortex' eastwards towards Alaska & Canada. Trying to decide if stay as 'nuisance', or 'go large'. If latter, those high latitudes may get a 'green tomato summer'...


        • #5
          In the longer term, 'Solar Cycles' have cropped up again.

          Remarkably, open-access !!!

          fair-use summary:
          Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic feld and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale
          V.V. Zharkova1, S. J. Shepherd2, S. I. Zharkov3 & E. Popova4,5

          Recently discovered long-term oscillations of the solar background magnetic feld associated with double dynamo waves generated in inner and outer layers of the Sun indicate that the solar activity is heading in the next three decades (2019–2055) to a Modern grand minimum similar to Maunder one.

          On the other hand, a reconstruction of solar total irradiance suggests that since the Maunder minimum there
          is an increase in the cycle-averaged total solar irradiance (TSI) by a value of about 1–1.5 Wm−2 closely correlated with an increase of the baseline (average) terrestrial temperature.

          In order to understand these two opposite trends, we calculated the double dynamo summary curve of magnetic feld variations backward one hundred thousand years allowing us to confrm strong oscillations of solar activity in regular (11 year) and recently reported grand (350–400 year) solar cycles caused by actions of the double solar dynamo.

          In addition, oscillations of the baseline (zero-line) of magnetic feld with a period of 1950±95 years (a super-grand cycle) are discovered by applying a running averaging flter to suppress large-scale oscillations of 11 year cycles. Latest minimum of the baseline oscillations is found to coincide with the grand solar minimum (the Maunder minimum) occurred before the current super-grand cycle start.

          Since then the baseline magnitude became slowly increasing towards its maximum at 2600 to be followed by its decrease and minimum at ~3700. These oscillations of the baseline solar magnetic feld are found associated with a long-term solar inertial motion about the barycenter of the solar system and closely linked to an increase of solar irradiance and terrestrial temperature in the past two centuries. This trend is anticipated to continue in the next six centuries that can lead to a further natural increase of the terrestrial temperature by more than 2.5°C by 2600.

          So, like Earth's Milkanovich Cycles which seem to raise / lower odds on an ice age, this process may modulate the Sun's output...



          • #6
            Something to consider is stocking seeds designed for climates with shorter/cooler growing seasons. You will find plenty of variety that will do so.


            • #7
              In addition to the usual herb and vegetable seed stockpile, I also stock seeds for wild edibles and medicinals because most of them are more robust than pampered domesticated garden plants. I categorize seeds by growing conditions and seasons: hot/drought, wet/cold, spring, and fall.

              Also, I label everything so I can pay attention to the average "shelf life" (seed viability). Some seeds will sprout long past the "expiration date," but won't be as vigorous.


              • #8
                Nik's post about the solar cycles caught my attention as I had seen the report that NASA presented at the British Academy of Science, which got pretty much zero mention in US news sources as being counter to "accepted science" in our country.
                One of the things the group I'm in has been discussing is how this is going to affect the length and productivity of the growing seasons (not just a shorter season, but lower solar output could also translate to smaller yields) for not only our own gardens, but nationwide possibly sparking food shortages/ higher prices both at home and abroad.

                I'm such a poor gardener that I hadn't thought of stocking some seeds for cooler growing regions. I'm in 9b and most of our struggles have been to get away with things that are slightly more tropical. (struggling with limes, mangoes, and avocados-blehch, but my wife loves'em).
                Perhaps more of the hard gourds?



                • #9
                  Stock more seeds than you think you will ever need, and then some. Also, keep in mind that some seeds are viable longer than others. Renew your stock as needed (but don't throw away your old seeds; some will sprout even past their usual shelf life).

                  Historically speaking, garden seeds have been in short supply during prolonged and widespread hard times.