May-Gray is a phrase used to describe the seasonal weather pattern we often have in Southern California that describes the overcast, low hanging clouds that cover the coast in the morning hours, usually clearing in the afternoon which often starts in the month of May after a beautiful spring. This typically develops into June-Gloom and sometimes extends into July which we have no cute rhyme for because by then we are all cranky and in need of waking up to some sunshine which is why we all live here in the first place. Last year there was very little if any overcast spring weather, we jumped right into a warm sunny summer, which delighted us all, but was probably not the best for a drought plagued region. The year before that, I think the sun didn't come out before 3:00 PM all summer.
The May-Gray thing is caused by the close proximity to the Pacific Ocean which is still cool while the inland is heating up quickly, especially in the desert and pulling in the cool air from over the ocean. As the ocean water heats up it will stop this phenomena and the mornings will be sunny again. But it is hard to explain this to the fruits and vegetables that require a certain amount of sunshine and heat to grow and mature!
Tomatoes especially need the heat and hate the cool weather we have been having. I typically don't get around to planting them, but this year I was inspired by a lecture I went to for the Master gardeners so I have high expectations. But honestly, these have been growing since the end of March. Pretty sad! I planted a beefsteak, a mid-sized and a cherry tomato plant, up high enough to at least somewhat discourage the dogs who usually eat them before we get to them.
However if there is one fruit that is enjoying this weather it is probably my new blueberry bushes that I got for Mother's Day! I planted them in a planter so I could keep an eye on them and control the soil ph more closely. They are bred specially for growing in our climate and do not require the chill that most blueberries do, so I am hoping they do well. They were already loaded with berries that are very tasty when got them, so hopefully they will continue to be happy. Unfortunately my dog thinks they are very tasty too.
For some reason we don't have many apples this year. We had lots of buds, but just a few apples. I hope this isn't because of a lack of bees. We did have some rogues freezes here and there, so I am going to chalk it up to that this year, but I am very disappointed.