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Old June 22, 2011   #1
lurley
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Default Anyone else still holding plants?

Just curious if anyone else around here is still holding plants in pots waiting for the ground to dry out. I'm getting pretty desperate. The few plants I was able to put out early in isolated raised beds (for seed) are doing well and several have fruit. Unfortunately I only had time during the one dry spell we had to get about fifty out of a thousand plants in the ground and the rest are still sitting there looking at me... wondering when it will be their turn. I have never had to plant so late. The latest before this year was in 2002 when I planted at the first of June. My plants are in 4 and 4 1/2 inch pots and many have flowers. I am in zone five and am wondering at what point do I give up this year? There are three mostly cool dry days coming this weekend, but probably lots of rain between now and then so even three days may not be enough to dry things out. Can I plant these plants out in July and still expect a decent harvest? Gloom, despair, and agony on me.. deep dark depression and excessive misery...
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Old June 22, 2011   #2
JerryL
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Wow. You are behind. I got my 32 plants ( a far cry from a thousand) in during the dry spell we had back in May. Most of my plants have fruit much like your raised bed plants.

If you can get them in soon I think you can expect fruit from the early and mid-season varieties but the lates may be a problem.

You might also want to ignore the ‘pluck the blossoms when you plant’ theory. The plants might not grow as big but I think you would have a better chance for fruit.

I’ll pray for dry days.
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Old June 22, 2011   #3
lurley
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Thanks Jerry, I think only the Lord himself can intervene at this point, so any and all prayers are appreciated. Most of the varieties I have are beefsteak and heart or paste types so, while I don't have DTM on hand I think many are mid to late. Maybe prayers for dry days AND a late, late, first frost?
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Old June 22, 2011   #4
Mark0820
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I planted mine in May also (Mother's Day weekend).

After a slight chance of rain tonight and tomorrow, the forecast looks pretty dry into next week. I don't know what your soil is like, but you might have a chance to plant this weekend.

If it were me, I would probably plant some of the tomato plants. We are heading into the hottest part of the year, so the plants might grow faster than they typically do in the cool Spring weather. I would think you might get a 1st crop at a minimum and possibly a second crop. We still have about 3 1/2 months before a frost (July, Aug. and Sept. are frost free, and sometimes Oct. is frost free).

Having said that though, I am just speculating because I have never planted this late in the year. I don't think I would plant 1,000 because that would be quite a disappointment if you didn't get any tomatoes.
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Old June 22, 2011   #5
kath
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Hey, Lurley~
Mine are in but the last ones didn't go in until 6/13. Last year I planted some on 6/14 and still had fruits way before the first frost. I'd definitely put them in asap and hope for hot weather and good growth plus a late frost. No blossom plucking. If you have to wait much longer, can you at least give them bigger pots?
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Old June 22, 2011   #6
lurley
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No bigger pots left around here right now Kath. I was hoping if it stayed dry tonight I might be able to hit some areas tomorrow but it just started raining (pouring) again. I went out this evening to check on the garden and there was still standing water in some areas, so I'm guessing the ducks will be able to swim in the middle of the garden again tomorrow..ugh. My Paul Robeson in it's four inch pot has a tiny tomato on it...my poor baby.
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Old June 23, 2011   #7
Mark0820
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In looking at the radar, it appears all of the rain is to the north and east of us. The forecast for the next seven days is dry. Hopefully some areas of your garden will be dry enough to plant this weekend.
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Old June 23, 2011   #8
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Lurley,

The last several years we have still been planting tomatoes the beginning of July and we have a shorter season than you. If you can keep the weeds down around those late planted tomatoes, most will still give you at least a few fruit. enough for some seeds at least.

Not ideal I know, but at least not a total waste usually.

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Old June 23, 2011   #9
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Guess it's too late if you just got rained on again, but one way I was able to get so many plants in earlier this year, despite all the rain we kept getting, was to cover the next section to be planted with large pieces of plastic until planting time so that the ground underneath remained dry.
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Old June 23, 2011   #10
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Kath, that's a good idea, I do have some large tarps around here for camping. If it looks like rain again I think I'll start covering some areas.

Carol, that is good news to my ears. Last year the drought was bad around here, but I still had plenty to can for the family for the year just because of the sheer amount of plants I had last year, 400. Maybe the fact that I have 1000 plants this year,( 3 each of most of the varieties I started myself), will be a saving grace for me. 4-6 fruits off of each plant would be enough to supply the family for the year and give me a small seed crop. Those that I could not find commercial seed sources for this year were the first ones I planted out, so while they look a little water logged and droopy right now they should at least produce a crop of seeds for future years. Planting for a seed crop was new to me this year, and while I had great dreams, I don't mind postponing the dream another year, as long as I get enough of a crop to help feed the family. We use tons of tomato products to feed our large family throughout the year and the idea of not having any, and having to buy tomato products from the store makes me cringe.
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Old June 27, 2011   #11
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Lurley,

Were you able to plant any tomato plants over the weekend? The forecast I was looking at last week was way off base. The rain just kept coming.

You might not be missing out all that much by planting late. With all this rain, my plants have been dropping blossoms like crazy. I thought I was going to have a large harvest this year, but now it isn't looking so good. I hope the rain stops soon.
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Old June 28, 2011   #12
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Yes, Sunday and my trooper hubby stayed home from work on Monday to help get more in since rain coming again last night. the ones already in the ground before are struggling from the rain more but those held in the pots have yellow leaves with brown spots on all the lower foliage and are still purplish from the recent cold. I did see a few aphids as I was planting them which I squished. I hope they are not diseased... I am removing the bad foliage as I plant them, leaving only the uppermost healthiest looking leaves, kinda looks like I've planted a bunch of green sticks right now. about one third done, if weather holds might finish by this weekend and then I will fertilize with foliar spray and spray for disease and insects to give them a fighting chance... And pray.

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Old June 28, 2011   #13
lurley
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Also was reading farm paper last night saying Ohio farmers have only had fourteen days suitable for field work since April 1 st..... Yep, seems about right.

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Old June 28, 2011   #14
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Glad to hear you were able to plant. Hopefully you will get the rest planted this week.
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Old June 29, 2011   #15
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Got another 140 in the ground today. They do have early blight(from rain, rain, and more rain) so it is good I am removing the affected foliage and will be spraying with a fungicide soon. Just need to figure out if I should use the Spectracide Immunox I have or go get some Daconil. The Spectracide says it wont be washed off by rain but I have to check the label to see how often it can be used and how persistent it is. I never have to spray my tomatoes, hardly ever even fertilize them, but this year seems to be exception. I hate to go chemical but I'd hate even more not having a crop my family depends on. I've never planted this late before so I'm not sure what to expect but I'll fight the good fight and see what comes of it.
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