terrible growing season

clairdo2(3)July 15, 2007

Nothing is growing, too much rain and no sun... Hardly any flowers on tomato plants, cukes are very slow and so is everything else. How about the rest of you northern gardeners?

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The same here in Timmins. Took a while for tomatoes to form. Plants are 3 feet tall but my toms are like marbles. I gave a neighbour 3 plants earlier this spring and they are turning yellow. They are definitly not dry. would you know? I am not a seasoned gardener by any means.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 10:46AM
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OMG, I was beginning to think I was the only one that thought that. We have had the exact opposite weather you have had, no rain, lots of sun and wind. I can deal with no rain since spring (we have a large rainwater holding tank that was filled in the spring) and I can deal with the sun but the winds are terrible for the poor plants.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 12:33PM
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Our summer started out wet, but since mid-June, the spigot has shut off. Only .84" (2cm) of rain in August!

I didn't get my vegetables in the ground until an embarrassing June 15th, but the hot weather and a trusty sprinkler have served me well. Nobody thought I could do tomatoes from seed, especially so late... but I have 8 plants about 2 feet tall with plenty of tomatoes on them now. But for those without irrigation, it's been a poor summer.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Here are my tomatoes you'd never know they're beefsteak. Hardly grew, I believe the plants should be about 3ft tall and only got a few small tomatoes sigh...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:45PM
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sharont(z5 can)

It's finally raining here in central Ontario! Too late for crops though.....
We set out tomatoes late..mid July but they didn't get rain so are producing less and the fruit is sparse.
Not a good year for us without rain. The only blessing is that I wont be canning for days on end. Yippee!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:39AM
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We had a pretty good growing season in the tri-town area. We watered the end of June and first couple of weeks in July, and then just let them do their thing. We start our own plants, and had buds on them when we put them in. Frequently these first buds do no produce, but this year they did just fine. We plant very deep, and I think all the rain in June allowed the ground to have some deep down moisture. We started eating tomatoes July 21, which is about as early as we ever have. The wind damaged the plants but we certainly had a lot of tomatoes. Unfortunately, I think some raccoons found our plants, and we lost some of the fruit.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 1:10PM
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Cordel, can you tell us what tomato varieties you were enjoying by July 21st?

With buds on the plants when you set them out - it wouldn't have been surprising it they'd just dropped off, as you imply. Were they given protection early in the season?

Do you grow a number of different varieties and can you let us know how they ripened this season and in past years?


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 2:51PM
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Hi Steve. I am not sure what we did right this year, gauged the planting date perfectly, for a start, I guess. We only had to cover them twice. We started two Brandywines a couple of Big Beef, and some Tiny Tims in February, and potted them about three times in ever bigger pots. When they went out the soil was really warm, and we planted them very, very deep, in holes I had dug the morning before and watered thoroughly, and allowed to warm in the sun. After planting them, I watered thoroughly again.

We had at least a week of nice warm weather before those two frosts. I used row cover on the plants in bloom, old sheets on the rest. Interestingly, it was the Brandywines that we were eating on July 21. I did learn, when my daughter worked in a greenhouse and garden run by U of Guelph, in our area, that if you leave the first red tomato on the plant, it gives off something that encourages the other tomatoes to ripen. So we have been doing this successfully for several years, and no longer get just that one tomato ripening early.

We grew Bush Beef and grape tomatoes as well, but we won't be doing that anymore. By the time the grapes ripen, we are well into tomato season, and while we enjoy them, we really don't have time to do anything but snack on them when we are out in the garden. So next year it will be Brandywines for their amazing flavour, and some type of beefsteak one to fill in any gaps.

One other thing we did this year, was take off all the leaves below the first bunch of tomatoes. Keeping the leaves off the ground completely did keep the plants much healthier.

Our crop was about the same as usual, except that we were eating two to three weeks earlier. That is important to us, since we do not preserve much, but prefer to eat tomatoes every day, sometimes twice a day in season.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 8:24PM
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Wonderful examples of "going the extra mile" for those tomatoes and success gained as a result!

Thank you, Cordel.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:11AM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

In Ottawa area, we had a bumper crop season - there has never been so much tomato sauce in my freezer! Also ratatouille, peppers, beans, leeks, pesto. Plus beets, carrots, potatoes, HUGE butternut squashes, onions and we are still harvesting terrific greens, mesclun, kale and Swiss chard. Generally, it was a dry summer but every once in a while, it poured.

Last week, a "regular" daylily, not a reblooming type, put up a whole spike of flowers.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 5:43PM
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