Low temps next week - plant or hold off?

2ajsmamaJune 1, 2012

I hate to hold off any longer. My tomatoes are hardened off (as well as could be with lots of overcast days and nights in the 50's-60). I really want to plant today before rain tomorrow, might get another chance Sunday before more T-showers move in, and next week has 40% chance of rain all week. But highs are only supposed to be around 60, lows in the high 40's next week.

Should I plant out the small ones (some still in 6-packs from April!) and hold back just the larger ones in 2-gal pots that have flower buds forming so they don't catface or drop the blossoms? I also might be able to put milk-jug or 2-l bottle cloches over the small ones - I've been saving bottles to possibly use to water the roots, though of course that means digging a new hole *after* planting to stick the bottle neck into after I'm done using it as a cloche.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I realize it is late for you to plant but personally I'd wait out the week since you have already waited this long. A week of rain and cool temps is almost a guarantee for fungus diseases with young plants. The only alternative would be to insure they are well covered and protected.

Laying down black landscape fabric early on to pre-warm the soil and erecting a low tunnel over the area to give them protection from the rain is one way to accomplish that and allow for much earlier planting next year.

JMO

Dave

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:14PM
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dhromeo

x2 what Dave said. Connecticut would have to be a harsh place to try and eek out long season and warm season crops.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:48PM
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b_kct

I planted mine May 1st this year, and all my neighbors and friends that got my leftover transplants, planted a week to two weeks later. Yeah, its two to three weeks earlier than usual, but weather been unusual here this year to put it mildly.

I already have a few small tomatoes, so should have red ones by 4th of July.

That said, tonight we're suppose to get some heavy rains, which would squish your new transplants... Plant tomorrow afternoon or on Sunday, depending where in CT you are. West of Hartford should be perfect for planting after 12 pm. Will give them some time to adjust before were back in the mid 80s low 90s.

Good luck :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:41PM
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b_kct

Oh, and not to disagree with guys who posted before me, their suggestions are valid, but its not till you plant inground that you realize how off our weather guys are :)

It is always scary when you listen to them, but after a few weeks with your plants inground, you'll figure out that a washout just means rain and a cold snap means its going to get to a frigid 56. At least during the summer :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:50PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Hold off til next year

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 3:59AM
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2ajsmama

Thanks - I will hold off most of them, much as I hate to, and pot up the ones in 6-packs, just gotta find more room in the garage. Looks like we'll get a break tomorrow so I might chance some (the bigger ones from my cousin and the the ones I have lots of?). Well-mulched, of course. Might be a good day for planting more edamame, cukes, other stuff I have from seed.

Dave, I really wish I could do a low tunnel - I do have 25x15 sheet of opaque plastic (from an ice rink) so I can try to cover them with that if I do plant some, that will only cover 1/4 of all I have to plant. Trying to build this business slowly, already spent more than $500 on fencing (T posts and remesh) this year so DH wants me to run lean til we get some profit. Maybe next year.

b_kCT - I don't even bother to read the weather in the paper, or watch the news. I rely on the weather channel online, though that's not perfect either, at least it's updated more frequently. Raining right now, but hourly forecast for tomorrow looks good, rain at night, then Monday 40% chance of showers (and we've seen that before, but never got a drop), Tuesday partly cloudy, and Wed - Fri "Few Showers" 30% so I may chance some plants tomorrow. Who knows, it could end up being sunny all week! If that looks like the case, I'll put more in on Tuesday.

If they do start getting diseased, I can pull them out and replace them since I have so many extras (only sold 8 plants at market last night - I was late, last year it was 4-7, so I showed up at 3:30 - running late even for 4 but kids are still in school - and found this year was changed to 3-6. Most customers didn't start showing up til 5:30 when they got home from work, but by 6:15 vendors were taking tents down so I did too).

dickiefickle - LOL, sometimes it feels like that! Last year I planted out in mid-June since it was so cool and rainy, this year I was all set to plant out early (b4 the traditional end of May) but hardening off was a problem, then I decided to wait til DH could help me get the fence up and that took longer than I thought due to social obligations on weekends, then we got a blast of heat when then plants hadn't seen much direct sun for weeks so I decided to wait for an overcast day - the weather just never seems to cooperate, does it?

My dad still hasn't planted his garden yet - he's getting plants and seeds from me so I know. Maybe he'll do it tomorrow. A lot of people have already planted, but I decided to take extras to market anyway just to have something. Maybe the rain will wipe out their tomatoes and I'll be able to sell some more over the next 2 weeks ;-)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 7:14AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

One idea for next year is to transplant some of the little ones to larger containers so they get some more roots going before final transplant. A Sharpie laboratory marker is good for marking containers or plastic utensils as markers. Printing stands up much better to sunlight than a regular marker.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 1:05AM
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2ajsmama

We didn't actually get much rain (except for last Tuesday), but it was cold - highs around 60, lows in the high 40's - and some rain every day, sometimes a downpour for a few minutes. I held off, the plants are over a foot tall and getting leggy in the 1801 flats and 4" pots. I have been bringing them in and out of the garage each day. But the weather has broken and I'm starting to plant them today!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 7:08AM
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