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Tomatoes: You can't be mad at the weather!

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 19, 2011
7:01 AM

Post #8639856

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.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 19, 2011
7:14 AM

Post #8639870

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

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 19, 2011
7:20 AM

Post #8639880

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
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 21, 2011
9:48 PM

Post #8646071

"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?
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

June 21, 2011
10:28 PM

Post #8646117

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.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 22, 2011
6:12 AM

Post #8646419

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.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

June 23, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8648769

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
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 23, 2011
8:43 AM

Post #8648885

"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.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 24, 2011
1:28 PM

Post #8652002

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
Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

June 24, 2011
2:34 PM

Post #8652148

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

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 25, 2011
8:35 AM

Post #8653590

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
Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

June 25, 2011
9:51 AM

Post #8653727

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
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 25, 2011
6:52 PM

Post #8654592

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
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

June 25, 2011
9:20 PM

Post #8654869

Carolyn, does Freda need another job--and would she consider moving to Utah?
Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

June 26, 2011
2:53 AM

Post #8655085

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
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

June 27, 2011
6:14 AM

Post #8657249

Rats!
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

June 27, 2011
6:45 AM

Post #8657295

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...

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 27, 2011
7:04 AM

Post #8657326

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
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8657519

David-we got more rain then that, but you would never know it now.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 27, 2011
9:55 AM

Post #8657637

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
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

June 27, 2011
10:20 AM

Post #8657692

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

June 28, 2011
6:40 AM

Post #8659566

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.
jeffinyorktown
Yorktown, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 28, 2011
5:26 PM

Post #8660804

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

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

June 29, 2011
11:08 AM

Post #8662188

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.
pizzacat
Sharon, PA

June 30, 2011
6:49 AM

Post #8663751

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
Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

June 30, 2011
7:26 AM

Post #8663803

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
pizzacat
Sharon, PA

June 30, 2011
8:12 AM

Post #8663883

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. :)
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2011
6:12 PM

Post #8665060

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.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 13, 2011
7:20 PM

Post #8691011

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
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

July 14, 2011
7:15 PM

Post #8692923

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.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 14, 2011
8:59 PM

Post #8693240

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.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 14, 2011
9:21 PM

Post #8693288

>> 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

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 1, 2012
7:58 AM

Post #9065333

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!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 1, 2012
9:33 AM

Post #9065453

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.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

April 1, 2012
5:45 PM

Post #9065948

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.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2012
8:43 PM

Post #9066190

It seems like both ends of the country have just decided it's winter. Strange
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 1, 2012
9:22 PM

Post #9066226

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.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2012
9:46 PM

Post #9066248

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.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2012
5:49 AM

Post #9071652

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!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2012
8:55 AM

Post #9071851

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.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2012
1:00 PM

Post #9072082

A grower friend of mine, in Penn, lost 2 flats of peppers a couple of weeks ago. They were in the hoop house but it just got too cold, some were a foot tall. Ive told him peppers dont like the cold but I can only give the info. I cant make him take it.
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9072496

Right you are, Honeybee. It's been tempting, but Mother Nature always is capable of throwing us a curve! We're supposed to get those 30-degree temps on Tuesday night. It's downright chilly here too tonight.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2012
6:45 AM

Post #9072885

We got to 25 here- but the next week is going to warm up a lot. Enough to drive a gardener crazy!!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 10, 2012
4:03 PM

Post #9077461

We have another freeze watch for tonight, and a freeze warning for tomorrow night!

Although it is pointless getting mad with the weather, it sure is aggravating!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 10, 2012
4:07 PM

Post #9077473

I know; after weeks of nighttime temps in the mid to upper forties or fifties this is ridiculous. At least my greenhouse heater is holding the temperature in the low to mid fifties overnight, but my plants aren't happy. On the other hand they needed more even light than they were getting inside with my fluorescent setup - damned if you do and damned if you don't.
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 10, 2012
5:26 PM

Post #9077575

We're even taking a dip into the 30's tonight and tomorrow night. Got out the old sheets and covered up the blooming things as best I could but some things will take a hit anyway. Too bad as things were really looking good and I had buds on a lot of perennials. We'll have to see how bad it gets. My tomatoes are screaming to go in the ground!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2012
7:45 PM

Post #9077751

This is really late in the year. I'm surprised. You all are far apart but in the same zone. They are finally getting snow in the mountains of CA this is usually beyond the end of ski season.

The weather is beautiful here,but nothing would surprise me.
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
6:01 AM

Post #9078104

Well, it only got down to the low 40's last night, but tonight they really do say frost! Supposed to start getting colder this afternoon. Don't put away the sheets and buckets yet!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2012
7:29 AM

Post #9078213

It got down to 46 last night, but they still predict frost for tonight.

I hope it warms up and stays warm after this weekend. All the raised beds are ready and weeded. I've fenced the area where hubby has removed the running bamboo so I can transplant squash, zucchini and small pumpkin seedlings.

All I need is seven to ten nights above 45F

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 11, 2012
2:06 PM

Post #9078768

This is probably where I should have put these to begin with.I stopped watching the temp at 25 degrees or so last nght, despite what the T.V.people had to say it went much colder than than that. that's a native yellow poplar in that pic. Others are tomato, butterfly bush , new clematis seedling, and some catnip,
butterfly bush leaves are rolled, some freeze problems there.

Of course the tree is severlly frost burned?

Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7
Click an image for an enlarged view.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 13, 2012
8:09 AM

Post #9080815

juhur7 - I've learned to add 15 days to the "last frost date" in this area. We always seem to have one or two cold nights before a final warm-up!

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2012
10:10 AM

Post #9080962

The thing is though, that tree and butterly bush are both three years old.Unless I had a large frost cloth for the tree that doesn't do me any (or the plant) any good as to what the weather does.I have to remember to throw a blanket over the butterfly bush next time.

It even burned my mums and there five years old!! Never have I seen a mum with burned leaves during 40 years of watching.That was one cold frost as freeze.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 14, 2012
11:29 AM

Post #9082217

Well the weather's better here, warm and rainy,thunder a while go today,only down to 56 degrees or so last night,60 forcast for tonight . Almost always does that when it rains this time of year.About 70 degrees for a few days ,guessing it will be. Would be nice if it would stay this way, (it won't).
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2012
12:04 PM

Post #9082281

I never protected my butterfly bushes from the cold, they even survived snow. A severe Spider Mite infestation did them in : (

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 14, 2012
1:06 PM

Post #9082340

It's finally warmed up enough to set out tomato transplants. The seeds were sown indoors on March 13th and set out today April 14th.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 14, 2012
5:17 PM

Post #9082617

I'm going to repot my tomatoes first. They don't look that happy; maybe the chilly nights in the greenhouse, even though the temps were well above freezing, set them back.

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 15, 2012
10:43 PM

Post #9084173

Yesterday we had some 30+ mph winds and some of the tomatoes got a little leaned over but They should straighten up after re-staking them. Hardly any rain and now the temps are going to be down for a few days.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 16, 2012
12:19 PM

Post #9084885

Wind advisory going into the third day here, as for the garden plants we'll see about that later, man is it wwwwinnnnnnnnnddddddyyyyyyyy!!!!!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 17, 2012
9:44 AM

Post #9086182

[rant]

It was supposed to be windy last night - it wasn't!

Before I went to bed, I dragged inside all the plants that were hardening off outside. This morning, I dragged them back outside again!

It was supposed to rain heavily this morning - it didn't! If I had known it wasn't going to rain, I'd have watered all the transplants I set out a few days ago.

I spent the morning in the garden room pricking-out zinnias, Fairy Tale eggplant, and Thyme seedlings, when I could have been outside sowing bush and pole beans!

Now they're saying it will rain heavily tonight! What's a gardener to do?

[/rant]

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 17, 2012
10:13 AM

Post #9086226

I'm beginning to get mad at the weather again... one inch of rain was forecast for Sunday. We got a trace, possibly 2 or 3 hundredths! I had to water sweet potatoes transplants, pepper transplants, cucumber transplants and the cherry tomatoes yesterday. Today I'm running the sprinkler on the spring vegetables, the beans, and purple-hull peas, and the onion patch. I will have to hand-water the 32 full-size tomato cages once I'm done sprinkling. At least we have water and I am allowed to water the vegetables.

I hope we haven't started another summer drought. The climate prediction center shows a drier than normal summer forecast. Maybe we will get lucky and a few mild tropical storms will drift inland and help bust the drought. The Austin water supply lake is at about 50% capacity, down over 40 feet.

It would be nice if southern Georgia and north Florida had a few mild tropical disturbances too. I hear there is severe drought there as well.

Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 17, 2012
1:01 PM

Post #9086400

I'm not mad at the weather right now. That dangerous storm front came through two days ago, and contrary to predictions didn't give us any tornadoes but 2/3 inch of badly-needed rain instead. The damage it did over in OK was terrible, though, with five people killed - you just never know around here.

But now we've got bluebird days in the low 70's, sunny with little white cotton-ball clouds around. I got a bunch of stuff transplanted into the garden yesterday, and tomorrow I'm going fishing! :>)

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
6:48 AM

Post #9092612

(Groan!) The weather forcast for Monday night is for temperatures to be in the mid 30's. SNOW is predicted for the NC mountains.

At this rate, I'm never going to get any tomatoes!
GrowingNVegas
Las Vegas, NV
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2012
7:50 AM

Post #9092661

Maybe you should just be made at the weathermen...I don't have a problem "shooting the messenger" when they are always wrong.

My messengers have it pretty easy...hot and dry.. High of 98 yesterday.

I have been giving my plants daily pep talks to prepare them for the triple digits. Does not look like they will be waiting long.




greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
7:57 AM

Post #9092666

We actually had thunderstorms last night, and it's raining gently today. My tomatoes are still in the greenhouse, but I had to leave the door open because a Carolina wren has taken up residence in there. I do close it up at night and turn the heater on if it's going to be chilly, but in the morning she wants to get OUT. Still, smart of her to find a heated condo...

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
10:33 AM

Post #9092830

greenhouse-gal - we must have had that same thunderstom last night. It didn't awaken me (or the dog) but hubby heard it.

I couldn't get out into the garden today, so I spent the morning in the garden room pricking-out tomato, parsley and basil seedlings.

GrowingNVegas - I had to giggle at the thought of you warning your plants of upcoming triple digit temperatures.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2012
10:50 AM

Post #9092866

Frost for tohght,70's and80's with 50's at night, then 50's and 60's daytime with 30's at night.One week to another this is getting crazy.
Besides wacthing over the plants ,everybody has to be careful not to catch a cold.
JUST CRAZZZY!!!!

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 25, 2012
12:33 PM

Post #9097449

Here's a couple tomato plants , going slow, still It's a month early for here. It's all the same plant.

Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7   Thumbnail by juhur7
Click an image for an enlarged view.

riceke

riceke
Snellville, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2012
5:26 AM

Post #9098270

Well get ready for the wind again. The news said 25~35 wind gusts today. We just got over 3 days of wind gust. When is it going to stop? I hope the seedlings can recover from the punishment. I don't think this is going to be a good year for tomatoes. 85 degree temps in March, near freezing temps at the end of April. Near hurricane force winds. Yah, I'm ranting, but when I see the folks that got hit by the tornados I shut up. But seriously every winter, pouring over the seed catalogs I dream of the best garden ever this year, only to have my dreams dashed by either the weather or some insect outbreak, or disease from another planet that there is no cure for. It's times like these that I keep asking myself why am I going through all this work and effort.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 26, 2012
11:29 AM

Post #9098676

Feeling that way myself, will be covering tenders tOnight and maybe again in two nights.Then by the end of the week coming 80's again.When it does that dropping back to the 50's day and 30's at night with 40 mph. I could just about SCREAM!!, the gone goofy everywhere, and it's even being dangerous,ALL RELENTLESS!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2012
4:36 PM

Post #9099065

We finally have a forecast that doesn't show temperatures dipping into the 40's at night!

Spent this morning transplanting tomatoes and squash. Then came the rain.

It's supposed to be dry tomorrow, so I should be able to get the rest of the transplants into the ground. Then I can set out the "back up" plants to harden off.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2012
5:59 PM

Post #9099191

Lucky you; tonight's 47 and tomorrow's 36, and so it goes. I don't know when I'm going to be able to get my transplants into the ground.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #9099888

We've got a chance of thunderstorms predicted every day for the next week - just a regular spring deal here. I did the next-to-final transplant of my tomatoes last night, into 16-oz. plastic cups with small holes drilled in the bottoms. This morning, I put the tomato seedlings out on our deck to harden off. I'm keeping my pepper plants under lights for a while yet, they're still pretty small.

I'm 'way behind you folks in Zone 8, but right on schedule for here. I always transplant tomato and pepper seedlings into the garden during the first week of May. My tomatoes look scrawny in this photo because I pinched off all the side branches and planted them all the way to the bottom of those cups last night, but they're really stocky. I've got Strains #1, #3, and #4 of the F3 generation of the cross I'm working on, as well as Big Beef and Ozark Pink.

I built these trays out of scrap a few years ago, and they're real handy for this last seedling stage. They're made to hold 18 sixteen-ounce cups each. When I transplant into the garden I'll set tomatoes in the ground as deep as possible, then cut around the empty plastic cup to make a ring. I set those rings in the ground around the seedlings, and that protects them against cutworms.

The "seedling shelter" on our deck is gray because my wife asked me to leave it up since the spring of last year. It seems her two outdoor cats think it's a patio cover, specially made for them. I've already put my seedling trays inside it and run some wood strips across the front, so the cats won't lay on the seedlings! This shelter is good for hardening off plants, as it gives them partial shade and protection from the wind - and if a hailstorm comes, I just throw a blanket or a tarp over it.

I had 36 tomato seedlings, down to 35 now. I didn't transplant one that never developed any permanent leaves - at 6 weeks old it only had two big cotyldon (is that the word?) leaves and underdeveloped roots. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before - a "birth defect", I guess.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9099932

Nice looking seedlings Ozark! I wish we had forecasts for a few thunderstorms... but I guess that's what I get for living in a semi-arid climate in central Texas. I'll be complaining about not having rain while your fields are muddy. We had less than 1/4" of rain for the entire month of April. I would love to move back to the Ozarks. I grew up a couple of hours east of you, in south central Missouri, The closest real civilization was West Plains, but at least there was a drive-in at Thayer. The weather there was much more conducive to gardening, that's for sure.

David

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2012
9:50 AM

Post #9099980

Ozark - I've experienced tomato seedlings that only produce one or two cotyledons and nothing else. Guess you are right - some kind of birth defect.

I liked your scrap-lumber trays - very handy.

The weather today is perfect! I transplanted more tomatoes and the rest of the "Tasty Bites" melons.

Slugs and Sow Bugs have been doing a number on all the young leaves, so I sprinkled coffee grounds and Sluggo-Plus around them.

Sweet potato slips are due here today or tomorrow.

riceke

riceke
Snellville, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2012
11:53 AM

Post #9100134

Ozark...nice tray set up...I've been thinking on what to transplant the ones I have in 8 oz cups that fit pretty well in the plastic trays but when I plant up to the next size they are too heavy and big for the plastic trays. You just gave me a good idea. My wife bought me one of those stand up mini greenhouse with plastic cover for around $70 and it does a pretty good job on cold nights. I was thinking of a way to install a light bulb fixture in it for additional heat.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2012
12:29 PM

Post #9100171

If anyone is going to build something similar to my seedling trays, I ought to mention that the tray bottoms are metal. I cut up a surplus piece of corrugated metal roofing to make the bottoms, then attached those to the treated wood sides with deck screws. Since the metal has ridges and valleys excess water drains right out of the trays, and of course the metal bottoms won't rot out.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9100226

Seem to have lost three plants to last nights frost,no more in the 10 day forecast.Hopefully it 's not all that bad.Once damage is done that's pretty much it for a plant. Have others though. Some of the tender plants weren't even touched ,those burned ,GO FIGURE HUH?

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 29, 2012
8:57 AM

Post #9102444

juhur7 - I have noticed the North East corner between my house and the neighbors sometimes gets hit by frost, when the rest of the garden is fine. If I stand in the corner and look down the garden, I can actually see the path the cold wind took by the frost bitten dead plants!

The cold wind hit our fig tree last month when it was loaded with fruit. Every fig aborted!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 29, 2012
5:54 PM

Post #9103015

That's awful, Honeybee! Will they grow any more? Some of our varieties have two crops.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2012
8:54 AM

Post #9103832

greenhouse_gal - I'm not sure if the fig tree will produce more fruit this year.

As to the vegetable plants killed by frost - I had plenty of back-ups indoors under lights, so I just replaced them.

Doesn't look like we'll get more frost this season. It's supposed to get into the 90's Thursday through Sunday!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2012
10:01 AM

Post #9103954

By the way, did the Aconcagua peppers ever sprout for you? They didn't for me, nor did my Long Red Hungarians, even though I planted them three times. The seed must have been bad.

I planted out some celeriac, my little onion seedlings, and some Romaine lettuce a friend gave me, and I'm hoping it will all be okay now...

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2012
10:16 AM

Post #9103969

greenhouse-gal -
Quoting:By the way, did the Aconcagua peppers ever sprout for you?


No, they didn't sprout for me either. No worries :-)

My very expensive seedless watermelon seeds failed to sprout. The area I set aside for them is now growing "mystery maters". I had several packs of old tomato seeds so I mixed them all together and sowed them in a flat. To my surprise lots of them grew! I'll know what they are once they set fruit because they are either "Early Girl" or "Viva Italia" - the latter is a plum type.

You win some, you lose some.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 30, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9104100

Rather know that feeling, I've got two mostly leafless tomato plants after a few days ago.A third yellow hierloom is growing faster than ever and the watermelon plants are looking good.
Knowing I failed to cover my tomatoes right being the cause did not do much for my mood for a couple of days.
Bee; Sorry to here about the f1's ,kinda wrong for a day or a few hours that can make one feel sometimes.
I's raining here off and on ,and that's a good time to plant ,so back to the garden .
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 30, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #9104721

Sure I can be mad at the weather, if the weather's mad at ME.

We're past all danger of frost here, and my seedlings are ready to go into the garden if I could get in there. We had 3/4" of rain last night, the garden is a mud hole, and the tomato, pepper, and basil seedlings in my outdoor plant shelter have spent all day straightening up from last night's pounding. For later tonight, we've got 100% chance of thunderstorms and we're under a tornado watch.

So, it's probably better I don't have my seedlings in the ground yet. I just nailed a couple of old rags to the top of my seedling shelter to protect against pounding rain and possible hail. It's always something with gardening, isn't it?

But there are things like this every year, and it (usually) works out fine.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 30, 2012
7:33 PM

Post #9104763

It was like that here in 2010. It rained constantly and was colder then normal. I feel for you. If it wasn't raining it was too muddy, but the weeds loved it. That was the year I got introduced to fungus on tomato plants.

Do you mind passing some of the rain down here? The ground is beginning to get cracks in it again. The soil here is crazy. When it's wet my feet sink in it and when it's dry you can't even dig a hole in it.

Hope you stay safe up there!
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 30, 2012
8:46 PM

Post #9104893

"It was like that here in 2010. It rained constantly and was colder then normal."
-----------------------------

Are you sure that wasn't 2011? Last year was like that here, and I thought TX got a bunch of it too.

Last year, May was cold - highs in the 50's the whole month, and VERY stormy and rainy. Joplin blew away, my fishing lakes were 40+ feet high and unfishable, and garden plants just sat there without growing in the cold and wet. Then about the first of June our temps went over 90 and stayed there, and tomatoes couldn't set on. I had to replant okra about four times last year, and we got our first ripe tomato in August. Sheesh.

It seems every year's weather is different, but frustrating in its own way. My grandpa grew a big garden every year, and he said the same thing - so I guess that hasn't changed much.

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 30, 2012
10:20 PM

Post #9104956

Just a little south of Lisa up there in LH, and it definitely wasn't 2011... We had a few days in the upper 90's in February that set records, and we had the same this February. In fact, this Feb. we had 2 or 3 days that were within a degree or 2 of the records set last year, and then it cooled off again, and this year we have had a LOT more rain than last year.

In 2011 we had 90+ temps all through March & April, and then the 100's kicked in and never let up. If I remember we had something like 70+ days of 100+ in a row in Austin. Our large tomatoes did very poorly, the cherry tomatoes did good all year, and even dropped seeds into the garden and we moved & transplanted them for this year. The only thing that did real good was the okra.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 1, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9105396

Yes, Ozark, I would remember if it was just last year. Sheesh...(grin) It was 2009-2010. Last year we had record breaking heat and record breaking drought. The deer got in my garden and every thing was a bust. Oh well
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2012
8:49 AM

Post #9105487

"The deer got in my garden and every thing was a bust."
---------------------------------

My .35 Remington works real well. Our freezers always hold venison, white bass, and crappie as well as lots of home-grown veggies, and my wife's pasta dishes with homemade sauce from the garden and venison meatballs are really something. If all deer-deterent methods fail, ya can always call it a "meat garden". lol

This message was edited May 1, 2012 9:50 AM
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2012
12:02 PM

Post #9105802

The storm passed and we've got a sunny day today. We only got 1/2 inch of rain last night, and I'm going to transplant most of my plants into the garden this afternoon - it's May, and that's what I was waiting for.

Remember how I said my wife's cats think my outdoor plant shelter is their own personal patio cover? I ran wood strips across the front of it the other day to keep the cats off my plants, but apparently I didn't put them close enough. We just came home from town to find "Sylvester" asleep in there, using my basil seedlings as a pillow! Ah well, it doesn't look like any damage was done.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 1, 2012
5:02 PM

Post #9106215

What a neat picture, Ozark! Glad no damage was done.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 2, 2012
3:29 AM

Post #9106740

Love that pic!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2012
8:19 AM

Post #9107054

You notice he said "my wife's cat"? That's what ALL men say. LOL
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 2, 2012
11:10 AM

Post #9107295

Yep, and Sarge is usually 'his dog'!! LOL!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2012
1:02 PM

Post #9107413

Ozark, I love your no-tip design! I like the big Solo cups, but go crazy trying to keep them from tipping.

I usually use shallow cardboard boxes lined with a heavy plastic trash bag, while they're indoors. Can't use cardboard outdoors or it would be mush 2 days later.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2012
8:47 AM

Post #9108542

No rain here for several days, and none insight!

Had to drag a bucket around the garden to give each plant a couple of cups of rainwater. Thank goodness for rainbarrels!

riceke

riceke
Snellville, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2012
12:03 PM

Post #9108871

Looks like another year of draggin the ol hose around. I heard long term forecaster say that it will be another hot dry summer not as bad as last year but still hot and dry. It's hard to imagine folks in the midwest and north are under torrential rains and it's like the Sahara desert in the southeast. Well I got to get back to my watering...good luck out there!

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 3, 2012
12:11 PM

Post #9108885

Well it's a hot one here today,! Almost 90, degrees . rained for the past two days more in the coming forecasts. Of course May is the wettest month of the year here. Only it's looking like some long warm weather coming.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 8, 2012
8:38 AM

Post #9115587

It hasn't rained for about two weeks, BUT "they" are giving us a 70% chance this evening. I sure hope it rains, 'cause my rain barrel is empty. There's still rainwater in some of the various containers around the house, but I'm running out fast.

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