Some Gardens Thriving Despite Cold, Near-Record Rainfall

It’s been a wet spring, and summer’s arrival has ushered in … more rain.

The near-record rainfall has left many farms and gardens underwater, but some area gardens – including our WTTW organic garden – appear to be thriving.

One factor, says organic gardener Jeanne Nolan, is our raised bed, which has helped mitigate the excessive rain.

“This is an 18-inch bed, so the soil has really good drainage, so even with all this rain, it’s not compacting the soil and removing the air from the soil – we want air in there – the rain is moving through,” Nolan said last week when she came to check on the garden, where we’re growing ingredients for salsa (including tomatoes, green tomatillo, hot and sweet peppers and cilantro); some edible weeds like dandelion and purslane; and some cool-weather crops like cucumbers, broccoli and purple cauliflower. (Get step-by-step instructions for building your own raised bed.)

Nolan says gardening has become somewhat unpredictable due to climate change.

“The past few seasons, we’re just seeing a blurring of the lines from spring, summer to fall. In some cases, we’re able to put crops in earlier than usual, or later,” Nolan said. “We can’t count on what we’ve been able to count on in the past.”

Related stories:

Lake Michigan Nears Historic Water Levels. What’s Happening, and Why

Pritzker Announces Help for Flood-Hit Farmers, Aims for Emergency Declaration

How to Plant Your Own Salsa Garden

Cold-Tolerant Crops a Safe Choice for Spring Planting

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