Tomatoes + Hurricane

jannie(z7 LI NY)August 25, 2011

I'm growing six heirloom tomato plants. They're still in my backyard. I still pick a few for eating, and there are plenty of green ones still on the vine. I was hoping to leave them to ripen naturally. But now we are hearing that Hurricane Irene is coming our way Sunday. I'm in Northwest Suffolk County Long Island. What should I do? Leave them alone and hope for the best or pick any greeen ones to use in cooking or try to ripen indoors? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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zzackey(8b GA)

I would pick them all. My father-in-law used to wrap them individually in newpaper and they ripened and tasted fine. Or you could leave a few to see what happens?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 6:06PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Nothing at all to be gained by leaving them on the vines. Especially if they are showing any color at all. Once the fruit hits the color breaker stage it is sealed off from the plant anyway. So you might as well pick them.

The advantages of picking at the breaker stage is often discussed here as it prevents all sorts of losses like bugs, splitting, green shoulders, uneven ripening, etc. etc. etc. Now we can add hurricane damage to that list. :)


    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 6:58PM
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jannie(z7 LI NY)

Thanks for the opinions. I'll be out this afternoon picking. It's a fine Friday so far. But they say Irene is still on the way. It should be all over by 8 pm Sunday.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:25AM
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Sunday will be a good time to make sauce since I will be stuck indoors. i am in central ct and hope that it will be a tropical storm by then. I will be leaving the green ones on. we'll see.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:56AM
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I picked anything that showed any color. Will green (totally green) ones ripen inside? I didn't think they would. I left those on the vines and gently lowered the cages to the ground, tied all the cages together in case 1 pulls out entirely, so it/they can't get blown around.

Raining now, but if there's a break soon and totally green tomatoes will ripen inside, I'll go pick. Otherwise, I might be making lots of green tomato jam, salsa and pickles next week ;-) (provided we have power).


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 2:41PM
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How did your garden fair Jannie? Most of my mater plants are trashed and I have to clear two fallen willows before I can get to them. Sigh.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Ahh Trudi I'm sorry to hear that. I was thinking of you yesterday and hoping the worst would miss you. But while watching the TV coverage I feared it wouldn't.

It seems the weather this year is determined to be hostile to gardeners - one way or another. But there's always next year.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:46PM
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Always next year is subjective on a personal level,which includes everyone that posts here. Lot of things that can end you. So very many things. How do I know this? I am reminded every second I allow myself to watch the fools of mainstream media who destroy the American mind, through relentless fear stories.

I laugh deeply thinking of what my grandfather would think of the coverage of everything that shows up on our so-called news. It should be time everyone either stood up straight or just treat news coverage as the best sketch comedy available.

If you look back at this Irene situation, the precaution destroys the whole idea of trying to help people,through fear. The Northeast will never be New Orleans. It truly is one of the more comical things I have witnessed.

Put a camera in front of somebody, and you will watch a human turn him or herself into a tool,under the current pay me to scare people rules.

Take care,

Btw, I agree to pick them tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:38AM
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Could have been worse, glad it wasn't. Almost 100 people in CT died in 1955 floods, I've only heard 1 person in CT (and 20 or so in other states). I'm sure it was due to being better prepared.

Anyway, I came to report on my tomatoes. Irene wiped out my struggling determinates. I haven't been down to the field (I left them trellised, guess I could have cut the baling twine but they weren't thick so figured they'd be OK). DH went out and said most of the plants have NO leaves left. We staked the plants near the house that were caged and lowered to the ground back up yesterday, and I only had 1 broken vine. Peppers had all been flattened and some don't really want to get vertical again (FL weave) but minor breakage, I will have to watch those since they seem wilting, don't know if they will recover. Squash may not - the one that was trying to uproot itself last week pulled out more, and a tomato cage rolled on top of 1 zuke.

Trudi - hope yours look better than you think after you can get to them.

Waiting to hear how everyone else did.

Yes, there's always next year (the mantra of the Red Sox fan!)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 8:07AM
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Just made it out east yesterday. We got lucky in the fact that all the plants were still standing but that hurricane blew in something and I think it's late blight. Two weeks ago they were perfect. We took off all the reds and blushing and a few greens that had fallen off but there must have been 30 plus fruits already infected glad this season is over. I give the plants a few more days. I'll try to bag as much as I can.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 8:12AM
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Now my Glaciers that were doing well all summer look like they have septoria (beefsteaks usually get that late season here). Going to harvest today and maybe pull a couple of plants. But they've lasted much longer than I thought determinates would. Even setting tiny fruit at the top the past week! I picked my first ripe Glacier Aug 1 - I thought determinates were only supposed to produce for 2 weeks or so and then die? My cousin's Glaciers are long gone (though he transplanted about a month before I did - I'm not sure how long his produced).

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:26AM
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I went to the Cornell site and it was definitely late blight. I have never seen anything like it before. Horrible. So sad. The tomatoes looked exactly like the pictures. I still have trouble identifying diseases from leaves but from the fruits it was easy. Wow boom overnight DONE

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:25AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Oh, liz63, how horrible!

Wow boom overnight DONE

That just about sums up Late Blight.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:13AM
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rane_grow(7 soMD)

Irene pretty much put an end to my garden, especially my beautiful bush and pole beans, luckily my tomatoes had already given me hundreds of tomatoes but my pole beans were just hitting their stride with hundreds of baby green beans and blossoms ... most toppled over and the ones that didnt were just ripped to shreds . I was able to pick a few but couldnt reach most because of 3 huge trees that fell on the garden and another tree took out my container tomatoes and almost all of my cherry tomatoes .
A few of my tomato plants are trying to recover with some new green growth and a few greenies on them but for the most part they are ready to be pulled .

It was hard to see all this the next morning but we are thankful that none of these trees landed on our house or vehicles . 2 more trees fell about 10 feet away from the other side of the house and 5 days after the storm 2 more trees fell on the garden ! The ground is still saturated . My kale, spinach and collard sprouts that were about 3-4 inches high are pretty much waterlogged under 2 inches of water that is covering one half of the garden . Sad .

Trudi, sorry to hear your garden suffered like mine as well.

But still thankful for all the many blessings I have been given this past year .

Iris ( 1 year 2 days breast cancer survivor )

PS Looking forward to wintersowing and next spring !

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 8:25AM
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It seems odd, but here the only thing which survived well are the scarlet runner beans which I have growing on the two halves of an old wood extension ladder that are leaning against the garage. I thought they would blow down but they stayed up and the vines looked great the next day, I don't think they lost a single leaf.

Sorry to hear about your garden. Winter Sowing will restore a lot this coming year, I'm looking forward to it.

T--still cutting off tree branches from the willows which are now finally detached from the uprooted stumps.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 5:04PM
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jannie(z7 LI NY)

I pulled any tomatoes with color, left the rest outside. But I have only 2 plants left-4 have died, all leaves and stems shrivvelled. So I tied the remaining two with extra supports and hoped for the best. Next morning (Sunday) after Irene had gone, I found one tomato on the ground and it was okay,not rotted. Rest still green and still on the stems. I have since harvested about a dozen. All the water from Irene has actually been good for my lawn, it's very green and lush for the first time in 20 years. But the main thing, tomatoes are okay!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 12:54PM
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