By Korie Marshall
Environment Canada is forecasting above-normal temperatures for much of BC, including the Robson Valley, into October. And while it might be good for some gardener’s harvests, it is bad for others.
“Warm is definitely the word I would use,” says Deb Cochrane of this summer. She and her husband own Balsam Ranch in Dunster and produce vegetables, herbs, beef and eggs. She is pretty sure the last three summers have been much sunnier than the usual, because they have been finished haying by mid-July. Before that, it was hard to get a big enough window without rain to do the haying before the end of July.
Peter Fox gardens in his own and a neighbour’s yard, and plans to keep his tomatoes and spaghetti squash outside for a little longer this year, with a little bit of TLC. He says the warmer-than-normal forecast at least into mid-September will be good for gardeners, and could mean an extension to the season for the local farmers’ markets, though he will still be watching for cold nights and the increased risk of blight and fungal diseases that comes with rain and humidity.
Cochrane says this year has been great for crops in general, but not so good for some pasture. Some areas, especially ones that are very rocky, dried out so much the plants died, and one of her pastures has not come back enough to graze again yet.
Environment Canada’s Temperature Forecast (http://weather.gc.ca/saisons/prob_e.html ) predicts a 60 to 70 per cent chance of higher-than-normal temperatures throughout most of BC into October, with even higher chance along the southern coast. Its monthly temperature forecast for mid-August to mid-September shows higher-than-normal temperatures for almost the entire province.