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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
b54red
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Default It should be too hot!

After last years almost perfect spring and early summer weather for gardening this years blast furnace has been a bit difficult. Friday it was over 102 with a heat index in the 120s due to the intense high humidity. I was so hopeful that after that May from hell with day after day with temps in the 100s that went on and on that the week of scattered light showers would usher in more normal summer weather. All it ushered in was a lot of EB and foliage worms. Despite that intense heat some of my newer plants are showing signs of setting a decent amount of fruit. I may have to mortgage the house to pay the water and power bills but I am not letting my plants suffer too much and I guess the regular watering and feeding is keeping them in half way decent shape. I am already noticing uglier skins on the tomatoes now but that is to be expected in this heat. Cucumbers are taking it the hardest with most of them now forming that wonderful U shape or being fat on one end and super thin on the other while the leaves wilt like death warmed over during the midday heat only to perk up a bit as evening approaches. The hot peppers are loving it but the bells are suffering sun scald where they are not fully shaded by their leaves. My squash are still producing quite heavily but we are getting a bit tired of squash now so I may end the Sevin treatment around the stems and let the SVBs take them out soon since the plants are now huge and blocking my paths on either side of the bed.

My first two plantings of tomatoes are still pumping out the tomatoes but new fruit set is really suffering on them so I am contemplating removing those vines earlier than normal once the newer beds start producing some fruit. I haven't decided yet but it becomes more and more work the older the plants get with less tomatoes in return but I have such a hard time pulling up a producing plant. It would be nice though to have a few places ready to plant fall stuff well ahead of time and not have to rush to clear a place. Of course if spider mites or some other blight moves in I may not have much of a choice.

How's everyone else faring with the weather down here? I know that some even near me are getting much more rain than I have and others may be suffering the drought like conditions I have had this year. I was sure hoping for a repeat of last summer but knew it was too much to ask for. I am thankful I haven't had rain nearly every day as that is the hardest thing to deal with because all the tomatoes are inedible and the plants get destroyed by diseases and pests when that happens.

I'm not really complaining since my tomatoes have done surprisingly well and the diseases and pests have been relatively light this year along with the lack of rain.
All in all I am a bit surprised at how well my garden is doing despite the conditions.

Bill
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
PhilaGardener
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This year's weather has been challenging. Up here in SE PA, its been a temperature roller coaster with too much moisture. Early start to the season but then buckets of rain made planting difficult. Everything is slow for the year - it is been good for peas - and the tomatoes only started to take off in the last few weeks. I noticed yesterday that Sungold is just starting to color. Garlic is getting ready to dig (it doesn't like the moisture and I have had problems with that the last few years so better sooner than later).


You might be better off reducing the squash on your own, rather than letting SVB get a generation in. Just a tad less pressure next year.


Good luck with the rest of your season!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
rxkeith
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different world here.

we have had one 85 day, and several days in the 70s. lows in the low 50s or high 40s. its been on the cool side so far. lost some plants to cut worms. we had a bear cub get stuck in the garden briefly, no damage. also had a porcupine go under the fence, cross the garden, and out the other side before i could shoo it out. potatoes are just a couple inches high, so will have to start checking for potato beetles. everything is still early stages here. clouds are piling up, so expect rain. we actually need the rain.
i have a few tomatoes, and peppers potted up, and in the back of the truck, black pots, and black bed liner should create a warmer micro climate.



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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
Dewayne mater
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Banner year for me in DFW. However, we've also been as lucky weather wise as we've been in the 20 plus years I've been doing this. We've really only had one super hot and humid week so far. Lots of rain and much of that coming spaced several days apart. Lots of cool temps - relatively - highs in the upper 80s to low 90s, low in the low 70s. That's bound to play out soon, but, wow.

Quick OT for you. When you lower and lean, do you remove all the leaves touching the ground? Due to dumb luck, my lean and lower plants have very little disease this year, so, I've not had to remove as many leaves as usual. So, now I have vines with leaves on the ground and miraculously, so far that has not resulted in disease. Maybe my heavy use of cotton burr compost is responsible?

One last note, after removing some stems that I didn't keep trimmed to 2 stems per plant, I got a flush of fruit set that seemed to happen when we had the hot weather. Do you think cutting back excess foliage forced the plant to set fruit on existing flowers?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
slugworth
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Jungle weather last year,totally different this year.
I did cover all bases with cool weather and hot weather tomatoes.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
Goodloe
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VERY WET spring here, almost 65" of rain from DEC 1st til May 1st. Since the middle of May, we've had very little rain and the temps have been about normal. Anything that needs watering, I can reach with a hose, so, no complaints lately. After a kind of slow start, both my tomatoes and peppers are producing well. Fingers crossed!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
GoDawgs
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We shared your May From Hell temps and for the past couple of days we've hit 98 but certainly not the super high heat indices you've had. Thank goodness!

Lately we've been having late afternoon or early evening storms rumble through every day. Fortunately the worst parts have been sliding around us but we've still gotten half an inch here, several tenths there and one 45 minute 1" dump. I can't spray anything either to deter blight or bT for those kinds of critters because it would get washed off and thus be a waste of time and materials. Found the first hornworm of the season on a tomatillo yesterday.

I have been very lucky in that only a few lower pieces of tomato foliage have been clipped off due to the start of EB. The tomatoes are limbed high, like 2'.

"Cucumbers are taking it the hardest with most of them now forming that wonderful U shape or being fat on one end and super thin on the other while the leaves wilt like death warmed over during the midday heat only to perk up a bit as evening approaches."

Sounds like what my cukes are starting to do. They're approaching the end of their run.

Only three Juliet cherry tomatoes have ripened so far. Not even the first blush on the many other greenies out there and here you are almost done with yours!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
ScottinAtlanta
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Almost perfect here in Atlanta. Rains every couple of days for 15 mins (but an inch of water), then clear and 80-90 degrees. Can't complain at all. Lowest disease occurrence I have ever had, but I am clearing diseased leaves every 48 hours, which really helps.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
SteveP
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We have been a little milder than usual, but have had a ton of rain. Approx 35" the last 8 weeks. I have a raised garden and surprisingly my tomato plants look great. Nothing ripe yet, but they are setting fruit at a fantastic rate and disease has been minimal. Last year was a disaster.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
AKmark
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I has been warm in southcenral AK, about 80 or so, perfect farming weather. We may become the 800lb Gorilla in Ag production if we get much warmer.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
Salsacharley
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I'm bumping Dewayne mater's questions because they are very interesting questions that I don't know the answers to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewayne mater View Post
Banner year for me in DFW. However, we've also been as lucky weather wise as we've been in the 20 plus years I've been doing this. We've really only had one super hot and humid week so far. Lots of rain and much of that coming spaced several days apart. Lots of cool temps - relatively - highs in the upper 80s to low 90s, low in the low 70s. That's bound to play out soon, but, wow.

Quick OT for you. When you lower and lean, do you remove all the leaves touching the ground? Due to dumb luck, my lean and lower plants have very little disease this year, so, I've not had to remove as many leaves as usual. So, now I have vines with leaves on the ground and miraculously, so far that has not resulted in disease. Maybe my heavy use of cotton burr compost is responsible?

One last note, after removing some stems that I didn't keep trimmed to 2 stems per plant, I got a flush of fruit set that seemed to happen when we had the hot weather. Do you think cutting back excess foliage forced the plant to set fruit on existing flowers?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewayne mater View Post
Banner year for me in DFW. However, we've also been as lucky weather wise as we've been in the 20 plus years I've been doing this. We've really only had one super hot and humid week so far. Lots of rain and much of that coming spaced several days apart. Lots of cool temps - relatively - highs in the upper 80s to low 90s, low in the low 70s. That's bound to play out soon, but, wow.

Quick OT for you. When you lower and lean, do you remove all the leaves touching the ground? Due to dumb luck, my lean and lower plants have very little disease this year, so, I've not had to remove as many leaves as usual. So, now I have vines with leaves on the ground and miraculously, so far that has not resulted in disease. Maybe my heavy use of cotton burr compost is responsible?

One last note, after removing some stems that I didn't keep trimmed to 2 stems per plant, I got a flush of fruit set that seemed to happen when we had the hot weather. Do you think cutting back excess foliage forced the plant to set fruit on existing flowers?
Yes I try to remove all the leaves touching the mulch but can't always do that and provide some shade to fruit right near the ground or rather sitting on a piece of carry-out container. I frequently have seen new fruit set after some serious pruning. Maybe it does encourage fruit set I know it does in some situations. When a plant has too many growth tips it seems that despite the abundant blossoms that there is very little fruit set sometimes and a good pruning will help that. I first noticed this years ago when I had a huge Gary O' Sena plant that had multiple stems and too many suckers to count with blossoms galore but only two fruit set. I pruned off two wheelbarrows of foliage and reduced the plant to three or four stems from the ten or more and removed all suckers and within a week had a huge amount of new fruit showing up. Since then I have been a firm believer in good pruning for both health of the plant and production.

Our very hot and humid climate could be a reason that pruning is so much more effective than letting the plants grow to their hearts content. Just two days ago I did some serious pruning on some of my newer plants that are just getting about three to four feet up the strings and today despite the past two days hitting over 100 with a correspondingly high heat index most of those plants have set new fruit. I did water them and give them a dose of TTF right after finishing the pruning but then I try to do that every week anyway. Even though from years of seeing it I am still surprised that I get that much fruit set in these conditions. I'm just hoping the spider mites don't attack because this is perfect weather for them.

Bill
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
Whwoz
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Hope all the rain you folks are getting means that we we get a wet spring this year, lots of OZ would be lucky to have had 4 inches so far for the year. We are doing slightly better, with 10 inches by the end of May, normal for us by then would be in the 16 to 18 inch mark.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
Dewayne mater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Yes I try to remove all the leaves touching the mulch but can't always do that and provide some shade to fruit right near the ground or rather sitting on a piece of carry-out container. I frequently have seen new fruit set after some serious pruning. Maybe it does encourage fruit set I know it does in some situations. When a plant has too many growth tips it seems that despite the abundant blossoms that there is very little fruit set sometimes and a good pruning will help that. I first noticed this years ago when I had a huge Gary O' Sena plant that had multiple stems and too many suckers to count with blossoms galore but only two fruit set. I pruned off two wheelbarrows of foliage and reduced the plant to three or four stems from the ten or more and removed all suckers and within a week had a huge amount of new fruit showing up. Since then I have been a firm believer in good pruning for both health of the plant and production.

Our very hot and humid climate could be a reason that pruning is so much more effective than letting the plants grow to their hearts content. Just two days ago I did some serious pruning on some of my newer plants that are just getting about three to four feet up the strings and today despite the past two days hitting over 100 with a correspondingly high heat index most of those plants have set new fruit. I did water them and give them a dose of TTF right after finishing the pruning but then I try to do that every week anyway. Even though from years of seeing it I am still surprised that I get that much fruit set in these conditions. I'm just hoping the spider mites don't attack because this is perfect weather for them.

Bill
Thanks Bill! Well, upon inspection last night I find spider mites starting to get going. Sigh. The dance to try to stay up with them is exhausting and often not effective. Good luck to you and die spider mites die!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
jtjmartin
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Dewayne:

Wanted to let Bill answer first since I learned grafting and lean and lower from him! And, he answered the question really well!

The only thing I would add is that sometimes I can use the tomato in front or the tomato behind as a shade for the tomatoes in the middle so that I can remove addition leaves that touch the ground.

This is the first year that squash bug nymphs are horrible! What nasty looking things.
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