You can't be mad at the weather!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Yesterday we experienced wind gusts of 40 to 65 mph and they really damaged our tomato crop.

Sadly, I had to prune back the tops of most plants. Over-all the plants will survive and we should still harvest enough to freeze, and (hopefully) share with neighbors.

The wind also caught our back door that is held open with a bungee cord, and slammed it shut. Had our little dog, Chloe, been in the opening; as she often is watching for squirrels; she would have been killed. As I type this, hubby is preparing to change the bungee cord for some heavy-duty rope. He said the weather report for today said there will be more high winds.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

so glad to hear you didn't receive too much damage, at least damage that will regrow and I think I would change the place your little Chloe hung out at while waiting for squirrels... Glad she is ok.

Jan

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Jan. Our little Chloe will be four in July, and so far she hasn't managed to learn "fetch" - so I doubt she would understand that hanging out in the doorway might be dangerous. LOL

Hubby has found some rope in the garage and is in the process of making the door more secure.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

"You can't be mad at the weather!" Oh yes, I can.

I transplanted over 30 tomato plants into the garden the first week of May. We had unseasonably cold weather in late May followed by 90 degree days and high humidity every day of June so far. The result is that tomato pollen clumps up and is deactivated, and I don't have ONE tomato set on yet!

Every day I look at hundreds of blossoms on nice healthy tomato plants, hoping to see just one little green tomato. Nope, the blossoms are just drying up and falling off. Usually we're harvesting and canning ripe tomatoes in July, but it's not going to happen this year.

Maybe we'll finally get some tomatoes by fall. They can't go the whole season without bearing, can they?

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

I hate that Ozark. I had that problem last year at my rented garden.

This year it has been so cold I have had to cover the plants several times. In the morning I would find ice and/or frost on the covers. I wonder if I will get anything to ripen.

I hate to admit it, but I have even stooped to planting a few Early Girls and New Girls because I am afraid they are the only ones that will ripen. Actually I had to replace some of my heirlooms including Sara Black, Cowlick's Brandywine and Amazon Chocolate because they got knocked over with a hose. I nearly died.

As for going a whole season without bearing--Yes, they can. Last year my daughter gave me a beautiful tomato plant she had started. It already had a tomato on it. That was the ONLY tomato it ever had on it. Some of my tomatoes never produced anything. Others started to produce at the end of the season.

Good luck. I have to know about your Big Beef experiment.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Ozark - I am so, so sorry to read about the tribulations you are having with your tomato crop this year.

Linda - I grow Early Girls and find the taste very pleasing. They are usually ready to pick around July 4th. Our tomatoes will be done by the end of July because by then it will be hot and humid, and I'll have the same problems as Ozark.

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

Last year my Early Girls's were bearing fruit with the mid-late season tomatoes. Go figure!

Oz - I have the opposite problem. We started slow, then hit a period of very high temps for a few weeks, at the growth stage, then cooled down. My plants flowered and set fruit like crazy. Then the rains hit, and my plants are already beginning the yellowing process. So, MY question is, how long are my plants going to last under these conditions. Last year, I was pretty much done by late August. At this rate, we will beat that no problem! Hopefully I'll at least get some good production early. My Delicious has something like 20 tomatoes going, and all of the cherries are going gang-busters. Biggest tomato to-date is the German Giant, which is already about 4" in diameter. I am starting to freak, tho...

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

"Good luck. I have to know about your Big Beef experiment."
--------------------------

Yes, I've got 4 Big Beef Hybrid plants and 2 Big Beef OP plants.

A couple of weeks ago I got the crabgrass and weeds out of the rows, gave them a light side-dressing of 10-20-10 fertilizer, and mulched the rows with grass clippings. There's a soaker hose under the mulch, and I've been watering with that. They're growing, and I tied them up again yesterday.

All six of those plants look real nice - the Hybrids are big and healthy and the OP's are slightly bigger and greener than the Hybrids. Each plant has had a couple of dozen blossoms on it for weeks - but the blossoms dry up and drop and NO tomatoes have set on!

This week our temp has gone down for a few days - highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's. I'm hoping that will do the trick and get some tomatoes to finally set.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Ozark,

I hope you get some tomatoes! I got a few, but only because I planted in February with the Season Starter tee-pees. The high temps here (17 days of 100+) have pretty well toasted my tomatoes. Okra, peppers, and one batch of corn are all I have left. It's really hard for mr to be interested in going outside when the heat index is 110!

David

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Of course I'm mad at the weather and why not since the whole Spring it's been drenching rains, tornado watches and warnings, COLD, and while I can't drive out in my car during the winter and when it's bad out, per the instructions from my ortho surgeon, normally I'd be out there driving in late March.

This year my first time out was a week ago yesterday. So I've been here in the house from late last November until May 20th when someone had to drive me for the 6 mo checkup on my cataract surgeries, and then not out until last week by myself.

And darn, My borthday is this weekend and I really wanted to go find some local strawberries even tho I'm told they're going for $5/qt.

So yeah, I'm mad at the weather. Freda has not been able to do much of anything outside. The tomatoes need to be sprayed b'c Cornell just put out a Late Blight alert, the tomatoes need to be fertilized, The large pots with various squash and cukes and potatoes need to be thinned out, the lawn needs mowing, except I hired the Woodchuck lawn mowing service and the two of them have been eating here and there on the lawn.

OK, a bit of a rant here, but sheesh, Fall gets closer and closer and I never saw Spring and now Summer is somewhere but not here. ( smile)

Carolyn

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Last evening we had a huge hail/rain storm.

This morning I braced myself for the worst, but found the tomatoes had faired much better than expected. They are heavily laden with fruit, and only one had become dislodged. The plants are kinda tilting down the slope because the supports are not really strong enough to hold them

Note to self: Tie down the tomato supports next year!

Tomatoes are starting to color - YAY!

Carolyn:

The River of Life has no meaning - no good, no bad, no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy. The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


http://www.quotes-daily.com/2009/02/river-of-life-has-no-meaning-no-good-no.html

Edited: I can't believe I spelled "support" incorrectly twice!

This message was edited Jun 25, 2011 7:15 PM

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

The River of Life has no meaning - no good, no bad, no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy. The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

*******

I think I accept that but it doesn't stop me from those moments when I feel a weather rant coming on. LOL

HOwever Freda was here at 6:30 AM before the rain started, got the Russian Queen tomato plant planted which Craig just sent to me , which should have been here a couple of weeks ago, but. And she fertilized all the tomato plants, filled all nine bird feeders, took out the trash for pickup, which is why she was here so early in the first place, so life is good, and left before the rain started and will be back tomorrow to do the mowing and trimming.

And hopefully much more if the weather is OK.

Carolyn, and now back to Wimbledon TV tennis.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I just came in from the garden and saw two TOMATOES set on! One Polish Linguisa and one F2 Experimental Cross.

These are the first ones, seven weeks after transplanting into the garden. Sure enough, we've had a couple of days with high temps in the 80's, but 90's are forecast again for all the coming week.

Still, those two tomatoes are progress. As we say when we catch the first fish - "I ain't skunked!"
LOL

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

Carolyn, does Freda need another job--and would she consider moving to Utah?

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

No, Freda doesn't need another job and no, under no circumstances would she consider moving to Utah. LOL

Her husband passed away several years ago, he had many brothers and sisters in the area so there's a large extended family. Her son was married last year, he just finished up his student teaching and will start a new job in the Fall.

And she does what are called side jobs around here for many folks, not just me. A side job is one done in addition to a regular job.

So sorry, but she's staying here. ( wink)

Carolyn

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

Rats!

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

I think we all need a Freda! I have 1/3 of Freda - her name is Linda and she's very helpful. And after 3 years, I've filnally gotten her to the point where she can weed without removing my veggie plants!!!

Oh, yeah - Carolyn, I hear ya! Rain, rain, rain. So many of my palnts are just sitting there - no change, no growth, just a bit of yellowing that is way too early if you ask me.

I did find one real treat - there are 34 tomatoes on one of my Delicious plants, and about 20 on the other. I have been eating the Tumbers since June 18, but they aren't either sandwich worthy or filling! Soon, I keep saying, really, soon...

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

With 50 plants, I managed to pick enough tomatoes to can 24 pints of roasted tomato sauce. I don't know if the heat will leave me with enough for another batch or not. It wouldn't do me any good to have a garden helper...the 3/4 inch rain we got last week just seems to have instantly vaporized! I'm still mad about the weather.

David

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

David-we got more rain then that, but you would never know it now.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I just checked the garden, and I've got FIVE tomatoes set on now. 3 Polish Linguisa and 2 of the F2's.

That's pretty skimpy, but it's a start. What's happened here is that all of June has had temps over 90, so I missed out on the tomatoes that usually set on early. You know, the ones at the bottoms and in the middle of the plants that usually ripen in July. Now I'm starting to get a few set on near the ends of the branches, but I won't have any ripe until August and not many then.

Maybe they'll still kick in good towards fall - I hope.

So far as needing help, I still miss the days when we had three teenagers at home. They're in their 30's now and married, but they made pretty good field hands and maids back then.

I wonder why they all moved out. LOL

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

Very funny Oz. (Guess I screwed up when I didn't have kids!)

Mentor, OH

I'm in agreement with Carolyn. This is the most disappointed I've ever been about gardening. We have had record rainfall in NE Ohio this spring. I read in the paper that during one period , April into May, that we had rain on 36 days out of 48. I didn't keep track, but it seemed more like 48 out of 48. I finally got the garden tilled and planted on June 15-16, a month late. I raised my own tomato plants under grow lights this year and because of the delay in planting, they grew taller and spindlier. Right now the plants are smaller than the ones I normally buy at the nursery in May. Most of the cucumber and beans seeds haven't come up yet. They may have rotted or washed away. I also lost about one third of my 400 or so tulips to rot. I apologize for the rant, but it's so disgusting when you look forward to gardening as much as I do and get weather like we have had. This year I think I'll be grabbing the fishing pole a lot and visiting the farmer's market when I need something.

Yorktown, VA(Zone 7a)

Yeah, it seems we have had more than our share of rain this year as well, especially after how dry it was last year at this time.

It got me to wondering if it would be at all helpful to put plastic on the ground underneath the plants. This would not only help prevent splashing that carries disease, but perhaps help funnel the water away during the heavy rainy spells.

So, I'll throw it out there. Would it help or hinder? I can see it maybe being too hot underneath for the roots, but is that worse than the seemingly endless rain we've had over the last week or so?

Thanks for any thoughts...

Jeff

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

You had too much rain and we had none, until yesterday, when we got about an inch and a half. Because we had been watering the garden it was able to benefit from that much rain, thank heavens! I have a bunch of tomatoes set, but they are a long way from red.

Sharon, PA

psudan- I feel your pain- I am near your area (at the OH/PA border.) I am new to this area, used to setting plants/seeds out mid May in central NJ, and what a horrible spring here this year! I also lost bean seeds in the cold soggy ground and had to start everything (cukes,squash, beans, tomato/pepper/eggplant) mid June and am worried that my late season tomatoes won't ripen in time if I get any (black krim, brandywine, big rainbow.)

jeff- Plastic is a common gardening mulch- I would definitely use some type of mulch to prevent disease/fungus. Some tomato growers use red plastic- does anyone here know if it really increases tomato productivity as is claimed?

A few websites w/ info on plastic mulch:
http://plasticulture.psu.edu/?q=node/4
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jul03/mulch0703.htm
http://www.ag.fvsu.edu/teletips/vegetables/128.cfm

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

No, the red plastic does not live up to the initial claims made.

I was present at at vegetable conference in MA when Clemson U first introduced it. At that time it was said that it could increse fruit yields by up to 20%.

But it's also good to know that this red plastic was always aimed at the commercial grower who raises det varieties and also good to know that seveal feet on either side of the plants must remain clear for sun to bounce off the plastic.

Current estimates are more in the 10% fruit increase range and considering the cost of it I can'see the sense in using it.

Say you have a plant that would give 20 fruits. Is two more worth the cost of the plastic? I don't think so. ( smile)

But all sorts of websites and more push that red plastic mulch and it you look around you can see other colored plastic being sold as well/

I don't think so. ( smile)

Using mulch is fine, but it isn't going to prevent the most common tomato diseases which are the foliar ones. If plants in a previous year have had foliar diseases and spores and/or bacteria shed to the ground then it can help prevent splashback reinfection the next year.

And it can't help prevent ANY systemic diseases.

Carolyn

Sharon, PA

Thanks for the fast reply! My plants look good so far (knock on wood LOL) but the mulch will at least keep my plants clean. :)

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I've been lurking around this thread since it started and, yes, complaining about the weather right along with the rest of y'all. So...I was about to post about my Lillian's Yellow and how disappointed I was (again) in both the seed (from TGS) and the lack of germination (again) this year and the lack of setting fruit this year on just these plants, when lo and behold I actually found fruit today. Not many but a few anyway. A few years ago, I grew these and was so pleased with abundant, beautiful globe fruit, but haven't had much luck since. Go figure.

I have tomatoes on every other plant I've set out this year and beautiful, almost-ripe fruit on everything but Lillian's so I may just give up on it next year. I'm growing Cherokee Purple (both from seed and a couple of plants I bought at a local nursery), Better Boy (bought plants), Big Beef, Sun Gold, Mountain Magic, Virginia Sweet, and Sweet Million. So far the foliar disease is at bay except on one plant (Virginia Sweet, I think, or Better Boy) but I've been spraying regularly and it's made a big difference. Now if we can just get some more reasonable weather. So far it's been summer, almost summer, still summer, and I guess Christmas is next.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I agree with Ozark, Carolyn, psudan & OutsidePlaying:

>> "You can't be mad at the weather!" Oh yes, I can.

On the other hand, hearing experienced tomato growers complain makes me feel much better! To learn a little about growing tomatoes in my neck of the woods, I let three root-bound plants in quart pots follow me home from a nursery MONTHS ago. Hey, they were probably going to die in there!

I brought them inside every night it was going to go down to 50 ... until I realized that could continue through July. So I popped them into the ground where I have some sun.

Many nights stay above 55, and SOME days go up to 70! They were unimpressed by my weather and just laid there. maybe growing a little over many weeks. Not the Supersweet 100. He went into hibernation.

Months after bringing them home, they put on a growth "spurt" of a few inches, perhaps 6" on some branches. Then more stagnation.

(proudly)

I now have ONE marble-sized green Sun Gold cherry and TWO ping-pong-ball sized Stupice. Three tomatoes from only three plants! ;-) And they are my first three tomatoes ever!

The Supersweet 100 produced nothing. He may have shrunk since I brought him home - at least he's hunkered down against the cool.

i think I'm getting good vlaue from the investment, in entertainment, at least.

And the "good" news is that with such slow growth, I've been able to plant other things around them.

Ahh, the joys of gardening!

Corey

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

LOL! Enjoyed your rant, Corey. Keep on gardening! It's positively joyful most of the time. As a good ole southern girl, I don't have zone envy for you though.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm still complaining about the weather! We have had 30 days of 100+ degree weather this year. It is so dry that the Bermuda grass is dead, and blowing away--leaving bare dirt. There are cracks in my soil that are 3 or 4 inches wide and over 2 feet deep. I think I've had one rain, 1/2-inch, since February. There were definitely no April showers... Even my okra died because I couldn't keep it watered well enough!

Certainly leaves me wanting to live somewhere besides central Texas.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> LOL! Enjoyed your rant,

Thanks, Outside!

But I exaggerated.

>> ONE marble-sized green Sun Gold cherry

I never saw a marble that small. Bigger than a pea, smaller than a lima bean.
If I'm going to boast about my new-found tomato prowess, I shouldn't exaggerate.

At least no bugs or birds or rodents are eating them!

Corey

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Darn it! After having such a beautiful warm March, the nights are going to start dipping into the 40's during the next ten days.

I have tomato seedlings begging to go into the ground!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I have tomato seedlings begging to go out in the greenhouse, but the temps are scheduled to go into the 30's at night so I'm afraid to do that. We have a small heater for the greenhouse but I'm not sure I care to risk it. The forecast keeps extending the thirty-degree predictions to one more day, each day.

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

We hit 21 degrees the other night and I had the pleasure of bringing everyone in. Even the geraniums! I have hardened tomatoes I was debating with, glad I didn't plant them out. This weekend I probably will, at least the 2 biggest. They are cold weather tomatoes, so they have a high tolerance,and I will use large containers with sleeves,and plant them right by the potting room door. If necessary, I can always bring them in and throu them some artificial light. We shall see.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It seems like both ends of the country have just decided it's winter. Strange

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Not here. Our high was 86 today and we're still breaking heat records. We moved to Missouri from Southern California 20 years ago, and I know our Missouri winter just ended was warmer on average than a typical SoCal winter. Strange.

I don't trust the weather enough to put tender plants out yet, though. Our average date of last hard frost is Apr. 15, and that could still happen. Every warm day makes it that much less likely that we'll have a late freeze - and if we don't, well, I could have put out tomatoes and peppers a month ago. Better safe than sorry though, I think.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

The thermometer on my truck said 91* today but its supposed to cool off to the low to mid 80s tomorrow. It weird how it's cold on either end but warm in the middle. I sure hope the middle doesnt decide its winter. I still don't have my garden completely planted. This darned plant order keeps getting in the way of my gardening. Lol. I know NOW I could have planted out earlier, but I'm with you, I just don't trust it, and there's issues with the angle of the sun and so forth. I always have great yields but as a single mom with 2 teenage boys there are never enough hrs in the day. So I do what's easier, and it's easier for me to wait.

I did learn how to put a bow tie on a 6'3"16 yr old yesterday. Lol. But he has been banned from yelling "mommy" in the airport. That's embarrassing, for me anyway. I have to look up at him.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

There's a frost advisory for our area tonight! It's supposed to warm up to the mid-60's by 5 p.m.

Guess my seedling will have to stay on the living room floor today. I'm glad I listened to my instincts and didn't put out tomatoes and squash a couple of weeks ago when the weather was so warm. Mother Nature always seems to have a last bit of fun with cold weather just before summer settles in!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I'm going to have to bring my flats in to the studio tonight, too. I wanted them out in the greenhouse because the lighting is so much better for them, but I'm not sure even our little heater can keep them warm enough with frost warnings out for this evening.

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