This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

cold and damp spring

We have had such a cold and wet spring! I can't believe it. We had a miserable, dark and snowy winter and now a damp, dreary spring. Arggh. Today I bundled up in a jacket and turtle neck. My mom even wore a fleece scarf. Young girls dressing by the calendar wore shorts and sandals, and we shivered just looking at them.

I'm hearing that there is concern already about late blight. Its out there, they say. I posted an announcement on our garden bulletin board (below) reminding gardeners to buy locally grown tomato plants. I have heard gardeners suggest that tomato plants should be kept inside for a while longer to avoid the dampness.

I am having trouble with my cold frame. It doesn't have much air circulation. And, since its still chilly, I've been keeping the panels closed at night. Today I realized that several of my seedling trays are showing some rotting. The stems and leaves have some black areas and leaves are wilting. Worst are the basil, peppers and melon seedlings, so today I brought them back inside. I'll leave them under lights for a while to dry out and stay warm. I'll also leave the cold frame panels open and see if I can get more air circulation.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly I'm pretty sure that one of the tomato plants I bought at a local nursery is showing signs of blight.

It's been miserable here in NJ.

May 22, 2011 8:16 PM

Blogger Jody said...

We completely understand. It's wet, wet, wet here in PA too. Everything we have is suffering. I hope your plan works well. Have you considered drilling several 3 inch holes into the back of your frame? You can always cover them in the winter.

May 22, 2011 8:45 PM

Blogger Matron said...

That's completely opposite to the type of Spring we've had here in Britain. We haven't had any rain to speak of in months! At least your potatoes will enjoy it!

May 23, 2011 3:30 AM

Anonymous mediaOrganic said...

I've seen some moisture stress on two melons that were set out a couple weeks back and the tomatoes are not happy but hanging in there. No problems in the greenhouse, perhaps because it is situated under an overhanging roof and set on concrete pavers. After a very nice Saturday and a cloudy cool Sunday, another three days of rain in the forecast. Oy!

May 23, 2011 7:58 AM

Blogger Wendy said...

And no relief in sight in Connecticut. Over the next ten days, we have one day coming without rain. Memorial Day weekend is a wash (no pun intended). I haven't seen any signs of blight on my tomatoes, but that could be because I don't know what blight is. I'll have to find out what this is. My herbs are looking not happy, too.

May 23, 2011 12:27 PM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

Only my tomatoes are hanging in there and some perennial vegetables. Otherwise, mud. What's scary is that this is happening to farmers, too.

I knew global warming/climate change was eventually going to devastate the Midwest farms, but I didn't expect the climate change effects to arrive this soon in such a widespread fashion.

May 23, 2011 5:48 PM

Blogger Dan said...

I hooked up a heat mat under a few plants in the polytunnel this spring, the ones you use to start seedlings. It worked well and they don't use very much hydro.

May 24, 2011 10:13 PM

Anonymous SingleGuy said...

It's been a difficult spring, for sure. Here, the temperatures have been lower than normal, it has stayed damp and we just can't seem to break out of it. Sunday night, everything in the garden was pretty much shredded by a hailstorm. Most will recover but it's a huge set-back, for this year especially.

Hang in there though, I suppose - we'll get what we can if the seasons ever get it together!... :/

May 24, 2011 11:02 PM

Anonymous brad said...

Same in Northern California. It is not even 60 degrees and raining - on May 25th! Unheard of in the Bay Area. I direct sow 90% of my vegetable seeds in my Oakland garden, but it has been so cold and rainy, nothing is coming up.

May 25, 2011 3:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My tomato seedlings (that I planted in the garden last weekend) were showing signs of blight (all were mine from heirloom seeds or locally grown seedlings). I just ripped all of them out and hope their presence didn't infect the rest of the bed. I replanted the seedlings (locally grown) and am hoping for the best. It's been raining in MI 5 days out of 7 for 3 weeks.

May 25, 2011 9:53 PM

Anonymous Chris said...

In NE Pennsylvania we too had a wet and cool spring. We are already 6 inches over our normal yearly rainfall totals. The local farms in the area could not plant because the fields were too wet. Recently we've had a dry spell so the farmers have begun planting. My strawberry plants have given me several quarts of berries and now are starting to wilt under the hot dry conditions.

Lets hope for a better summer growing season.

June 10, 2011 7:58 PM


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