Monday, May 31, 2010

Tomato plants may be toast :(

Literally...I think the heat wave we've been having has actually toasted the leaves of my tomato plants. To try to rescue them, I've brought all 450 plants back indoors to hopefully recuperate. I didn't realize that the seedlings were still too small to withstand the heat. If they don't recover from their scorching, I'm going to have to buy tomato plants from other farmers and will have to start a second round of seedlings and hope the summer will be long enough to produce fruit from later tomato plants.

Poor scorched baby tomato plants. They're barely even still green at all! And for those in the know, yes, they are quite stretched, which I don't mind for tomato plants since I'll plant them deep in the field so that the whole stalk will grow roots.

This season is so very opposite of last year's cold and wet summer. The field grasses are already taller now than they were all last summer, and many flowers around the house are already finished blooming even though it's not quite June yet.

I'll just have to see how the vegetables grow this year. I've got drip line irrigation set up so the plants should get enough water in the field even if there are long stretches without rain (today's thunderstorm sprinkling is the first rain since May 22...and that wasn't much precipitation either). Theoretically, I should have a great growing season with all this sun, especially for hot crops. Unlike last year, my spinach, salad greens, and parsnip plantings have all germinated and are growing well, so that's great. Beets and carrots are all showing themselves in the field, and bok choy and cabbages are coming along under their row covers. I'm hoping to harvest spinach and salad greens in the next couple weeks. And as soon as my sugar snap peas start producing tasty pods, I can start my vegetable deliveries into Toronto.

Please pray for good pea production and that my tomato plants recover and keep growing!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Snow in May!

For the past few weeks, I've been feeling really anxious because of the abnormally high temperatures so far this spring. I see all this gorgeous plant life outside in my flower gardens, woods and fields and feel like I'm horribly behind on my vegetable plantings. I've had to stop myself from moving up my planting schedules, seeding more outside, or starting seedlings too early indoors. And each beautiful, sunny, warm day, I second-guess myself on the decision to hold firm to my original planting schedule.

Well, it snowed here yesterday, enough to actually accumulate on the ground and not be completely melted until after noon today. And overnight temperatures are below zero for the next couple days, so I have direct proof of why it's wiser not to jump the gun, no matter how nice it is outside! All my field plantings (cold hardy) of sugar snap peas, salad mix, radish and spinach are fine even after the snow, though they'll be growing at a slower rate for the next day or two until temperatures go up again.

Indoors, my 500+ tomato seedlings are happy and my brassicas (kale, cabbage & napa cabbage) are germinating well. Soon I'll need to take a road trip to Burkhart's Greenhouse to pick up the flats of leek, onion, hot pepper, pepper & eggplant they started for me back in March. Since I don't currently have a heated greenhouse, I sent my early starting & hot crop seedlings to a heated greenhouse to get started. My summer kitchen isn't warm enough to start hot crop seedlings until April/May when the sun has more time to warm it up and overnight temperatures aren't too low.

Hopefully, yesterday's snow flurries are the last until November!