My poor tomato plants look like they need earmuffs and wooly mittens. Their topmost leaves are curled under into tight little fists. So far this planting I've had to treat my tomatoes twice for aphids. I'm afraid to plant anything like watermelon or pumpkin because of the cold. Anyone in Zone 7 putting in fruiting vines (cukes, watermelon, etc) right now, or should I just hold off until the weather stabilizes?
Do you have a hoop up? If you put one up, you can drape plastic sheeting over it to protect from the wind and cold. Territorial Seed Company makes a perforated plastic sheeting that you won't have to put on and off all the time. Let's air, light, and rain get to the plants.
Alternately, you could drape old sheets over your hoop against wind damage, shade cloth to protect against the burning rays of the sun, and frost blankets if the envelope gets pushed that far.
Use a hoop also to extend your growing season on both ends. You get to start fall/winter veggies earlier, and keep them in longer at the beginning of springtime.
I would hold off until the weather gets warmer. I planted all of my seeds two days before this mess hit and I have some beans and crowder peas up and that's it. Squash, cuke, watermelon, cantaloupe, and okra are not even showing signs of coming up. It looks like all that hard work was for naught. The seeds in the ground that have not come up are probably going to rot with all the wet and cool days that we have had. The weather says that there in no end in sight. I will deal with whatever God throws my way. But wait, definitely wait until the weather heats up and stays up.
I agree I wouldn't even bother with heat loving plants, the hoops won't warm up the soil or keep it dry enough to make it worth your while. Once summer hits there will be plenty of heat. We are having record cold here too and my seeds are taking forever to germinate and my seedlings are growing really slowly. If there's no end in sight I would just wait and enjoy the cooler weather. Some of the above mentioned seeds do best when the soil temp is around 80.
We're supposed to get more cold and rain the next three days! I appreciate the information about vining plants and will hold off until it's consistently warmer. Two weeks ago I put out some cukes my brother had started and they're all but dead. I also went out this morning and moved ten tomato plants from what was supposed to be their permanent location. Before I planted them, I went crazy with nitrogen and fertilizer and granite rock dust and my pathetic tomatoes have paid the price. Their new home hasn't been tampered with, and, if they survive the transplant, they at least have the chance to recover, hopefully make some 'maters.
I also re-tilled my garden and won't plant anything until after it rains. I hope the pure clay I dug up will mix with the top soil, and I've got my fingers crossed the soaking rains they're predicting will help wash the extra nutrients (poison) from the soil. I've had a great garden for two years, but this year, I've really buggered things up. I've done what I can to fix my errors, and now it's up to the good Lord to do the rest.
Good luck to everyone this year. Looks like some of us are going to need it!
I started all my veggies from seed indoors and had no choice but to put them in the ground or buckets outside. We had one warm, sunny week and I thought all was free and clear woo hoo! Then the inchworms came in droves to feast and now they are gone and the weather has turned sour...I had such high hopes this year, it is just my second year of attempting veggies and my first with indoor germination and grow lights and now my poor little babies have been put through some trials and I hope they can survive this soggy, cold turn of events...ugh
I'm in the same fix as shiisteelady. I started all these veggies under lights inside and ran out an planted them. I must say I'm getting tired of covering and uncovering eggplants!
The gardening bug bites me early every year, about the time those wonderful color veggie catalogs come out. Having said that, April 15th was supposed to be the last frost date, so I planted. Now I'm paying the price.
I now have a second tier of plants under lights, though I'm praying the ones outside make it.
My peas seem to like this weather too, though I've yet to see any blossoms. The only thing I've pulled from my garden so far is a couple of lettuce leaves, weeds, and radish.
Let there be light!!! The sun is shining but the weather man says tomorrow overcast but good news it's supposed to heat up...everything is still hanging in there a few yellowed crispy leaves but I pinched those off...my peas are loving the weather we have been having as well yay! Now if the stray cats would bugger off...if it ain't the bugs it's the weather and now some ruuude cat has defiled my raised veggie bed but I took measures and put down netting so they should find somewhere else to drop their little "gifts". I always hear my mama say "My grandaddy had the biggest most delicious vegetables and he never did all the stuff you do, he just planted the seeds and waited." I think my mama was lying to me ^^.lol
Dont get me started on my own cats and the major reprogramming seminar i have for them entitled "the thing in the back yard is NOT a giant litterbox for you guys and all your neighborhood cat buddies" Last week I was planting my tomatoes and digging some compost into the raised bed and i thought i was breaking up a lump of wet clay, until i realized it was cat poo in my hand. (if you are laughing really hard, it has happened to you,too. If you are grossed out, don't worry, It could happen to you,too! haha)
Also, I get a related lecture about gardening..."how come you go through all that trouble with seeds? why dont yo just go to Walmart and buy plants like everybody else? What? No chemical fertilizer and insecticides? You aint gonna get anything to grow, and the bugs are gonna eat everything. Yankee garden."
At the risk of sounding smug, these same folks really enjoyed the gifts of my bountiful garden last year, because many don't even grow a garden at all! I want to say Nyah nyah, but my mouth is full of veggies! hahaha! snarf!
I've got two cats and a bunch of flattened beet seedlings because of them. Most of my garden (it's a tiny thang) is surrounded by a fence and, for whatever reason, the cats aren't that interested in jumping it. The planters with the flattened beet seedlings are outside the fence where the cats reside.
Oh good grief. It just started raining AGAIN. We got just enough of a break for me to run out and pour off the water from my swamped flowerpots. I guess I better not complain about the rain too much. It wasn't too long ago we were facing drought conditions.
BTW...hee, hee, hee, that's just hilarious about cat poop and dirt clods. I bet the cats were staring through the fence laughing their tails off!
I was laughing really hard because it has happened to me lol...I was checking on my flowers doing the rounds of plucking and pinching dead blooms and silkworms and noticed a "rock" mingled in with my mulch and thought to myself " That has to go, it's disrupting my nice red mulch." And I bent over and picked it up(bare handed mind you) and looked at it for a full three seconds before it dawned on me that I was holding cat doo doo and I promptly launched it into the woods with a screeched cuss and high tailed it to the nearest sink and soap dispenser. Needless to say I am more discriminating about what I snatch up out of the garden...
My cats spend a large portion of their day laughing at me.
Yesterday was the first full day of no rain in 3 days. It feels warmer this a.m. so hopefully it will begin to dry out a bit. I wish I could save this moisture for July and August, when I will need it. **sigh**
Oh I am in the same boat with you all, planted out about 100 tomato and 100 pepper plants the weekend we hit high 70's low 80's after a 4 day ordeal the very next day mother nature drops 3 inches of snow on us. Needless to say everything looks really sad. Just have to hope they have the will to survive I guess, starting to warm up again.
Oh iowagardening, I think I'll have to stop complaining after reading your post. I've been heartbroken over my 16 suffering little tomato plants and can't imagine worrying myself sick about two hundred of anything.
The weather seems to have tempered here in NC as well. It's dry for the moment and both my basil seeds and bush beans have sprouted after all that rain. The tomatoes still look iffy, but I've got my fingers crossed they'll recover.
Nature still appears to be on track otherwise. Today a baby robin was hopping around in the front yard trying to learn how to fly, its mama close by and squawking.
Iowagardening- Oh No! Snow?!? On your tomatoes and peppers, jeez, did everything die or are they just floppy ? Ugh! what a terrible fluke-y thing. I would have just sat down and cried. How awful!
So, now I feel like a big baby whiner. " Oh boo hoo! I am chilly in my 50 - 60 degree area.." Just goes to show,always be happy things aren't worse.
Karensworld, i am thinking my indoor sprouted basil and dill are stunted, I put them inthe ground a week ago, but not much change. I let the seedlings sit outside to harden, and it stayed cool, so i maybe waited too long to put them in. The volunteers that self seeded from last years herb planting outside have just really taken off. I am trying Red Rubin basil this year in addition to regular. It is similar to the Opal,but truer to color. I never had any but green. Ever try the purple/red basil?
It is so nice to watch the birdies do their thing. Last year I had several mommies bring their babies to my feeder and birdbath and watched them put seeds and mealworms( I get em from a bait shop as a treat for the birds once in a while) in those hungry baby beaks. Cute cute cute. I think robins are the hardest working and most under appreciated birds. Robins are not seed eaters, so they do not benefit from feeders. They have such personality! If live wormies gross u out, get dried ones.(tractor supply has them) it is a joy to watch the birds go for them.
scarletbean, I'm trying Gurney's "large leaf" basil. The other basil was gifted to me two years ago as sprigs. I haven't tried any red/purple basil. If anyone here has tasted the red/purple, would you let us know?
I don't know if you care about radishes or not, but I planted German Giant "Parat" this year, and I'm getting some big pretty radishes! The packet says to begin harvest when the radishes "reach the size of quarters." They aren't kidding! The only issue is that the radish tops are as massive as the root. Now the radishes are competing with my carrots for light and space, so I'm pulling them before they get too large.
Well, it's about time to go stare at my tomatoes again. I would really like to see some new "normal" looking growth.
Ha ha ha..My neighbor asked me(by yelling out the window) the otherday if I was ok, because he saw me in the yard "just standing there staring for a long time" haha I was watching and waiting for my stuff to grow. I hang my nose over the edge of every pot I plant. It can be so exhausting, all that waiting and mental telepathy..."GROW!!! " Come ON!
I talk to my vegetables, especially when they're in the seedling stage. If mental telepathy works, I'll try it. Most of our neighbors think hubby and I are a little eccentric anyway. Heard the weatherman say things are supposed to get better around here, warmer and dryer, except for more "typical" afternoon pop up showers. I sure hope he's right. I can't even putter in the garden. Way too soggy.
Scarlet they were pretty floppy some died down below the soil line but peppers are making baby leafs so i get to play the waiting game and see who is strongest. Worst case scenario just replace the ones that didn't make it with some 6 packs. A gal at the grocery store told me we hadn't had accumlated snow in May since 1911 ...lucky me.
Ya know, it is always amazing to see the resilience of our plants. You lost some, but others just keep at it. I baby my plants as much as i can, but really, they do the work. I had some Anise Hyssop seedlings out and it got down to hi 30s or low 40s one night and the middle leaves, got freezer burn. I figured it was over for them since that was the growing point of thw plant. I didn't pitch them, hoping that maybe a seed or two might germinate late and replace the dead one. Within a week, there were tiny leaves coming from the stem at the leaf joint. Now, they are bushy and ready to go in the ground. Yay!
2 years ago we got a late frost at the end of april and I had rushed the season by planting toms and peps. I lost some and some made it, but there were gaps and I wanted more to harvest for canning.. I tossed down a few seeds and decided to see what happened...They caught up in almost no time, and were very healthy. maybe u could try it along with some store bought 6packs.
1Lisac- Eccentric! ha! I know my neighbors think I am just plain class A Weird! And they are family!!! When i bring them fresh herbs they say i have weeds for them! It is good to be odd, it keeps me laughing at myself.
Woo Hoo! It's 68 degrees outside and supposed to hit the 70's. A few of my tomato plants (Cherokee Purple and Rutgers) have unrolled their leaves. I'll have to wait and see what happens with my beefsteaks. I had to replant all of them because I started the seeds in eggshells that refused to break apart after planting (I sterilized the eggshells in the microwave too long and hardened the shells). Lesson learned...the hard way!
I did egg shells too one time. I had the same problem, and I did not microwave them, just rinsed them out. I ended up giving the bottom of each shell a solid bop to break it before it went in the ground. I think commercial eggs have thicker,hard shells to make them less likely to break in the transport and stocking of stores. I notice the ones I get from my egg lady have thinner shells.