Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So How's Everybody Faring?

One more night of cold left ... I hope. At least that's what the weather says.

My tomatoes are actually doing fine. I live near the coast, so the temperatures have been cold, but not deadly cold. I feel for some of the growers in the western suburbs, where I've been hearing about frost and truly damaging conditions.

I can't say things are going so well for the peppers, however. Peppers like warm weather—they are more cold-sensitive than tomatoes—and I'll probably have to end up harvesting early. Oh well. There's still plenty of time to get some more peppers in the ground.

Otherwise, how are you faring?


  1. So far so good out west in Coral Springs. Keeping my fingers crossed for tonight. This is my second year growing tomatoes and first year doing so from seed. I'm just now starting to see some fruit...about the size of a dime / nickel. I bought the seed combo package from burpee that included big rainbow, black krim, brandywine, and supersteak. I also planted a couple big boy seeds.

  2. I turn the spinklers on over mine right about 3:30 am and I also turn my drip system on for a half hour every 2 hours during the early hours. The sprinklers are above on 7 foot high pipes. All my stuff is in raised beds an grow bags, hope they survive. I have alot of flowering going on now so it's bad timing. We are way out in Weston.


  3. I was surprised to see a skin of ice on the water in the birdbath this morning here in South Miami. I covered all of the plants that I have in the ground with newspaper and weighted pots or cardboard boxes.The cucumbers(in pots) were too big to cover that way so I used 17" pots to cover them and ran a soaker hose across the mulched soil. All of the rest of the Tomatoes in pots are in the diningroom..oh the mud! I wonder what the rest of the Winter will bring. Last year I grew alot of Heirloom tomatoes and got skunked due to the weather.

  4. Anon,

    That's great to hear you're setting fruit with the Burpee heirlooms. I've got some Big Boy going too.

  5. Joseph,

    Good luck! You're colder out there in Weston, but the irrigation should help. Are you using the drip-and-bag system, like from Hydrogardens?

  6. Toni,

    Ice in South Miami?!

    And there's no way I could bring the tomatoes inside. I already bring in all the orchids (I have a little shadehouse) and enough lizards ride inside that my wife is like, "Enough taking plants inside." Good luck with the steam cleaner :)

    p.s. I hate getting skunked.

  7. Curtis from Clearwater here. I have been following your blog for a month or two now. Growing tomatoes with my 3 year old. We have some plants in the ground as well as one hanging. Protected them all with a "Planket" which is a light weight plant blanket I got at the garden store. Seemed to work well. I am about 5 miles from the water, so not sure how cold it REALLY got.

    The in ground garden, I further protected with a string of 25 of the larger christmas lights. This puts off just a little bit of extra heat which should keep it nice and toasty inside the covering.

    Thanks for the great blog, I have learned a lot from reading it!


  8. Jon,
    I had to get my son to verify the ice or everyone would think I was out of my mind!
    47 tonight. It seems pretty cold right now. Do you think we have to cover up again?
    Our assortment is: Boxcar Willie, Thessaloniki, Floradade,Aunt Ruby's, Green Zebra, Granny Smith, Old Brooks, Lemon Boy,German Johnson, and Matt's Sweet Cherry.We do tons of Peppers(mostly hot).My favorite Cucumber is Poona Keera.Pepper Cress is the greatest if you like Water Cress. 10 days to harvest!

  9. Curtis,

    I've heard of quite a few people using Christmas lights to help warm up their plants. I guess there's an advantage to growing tomatoes during the Christmas season ... We might not get snow, but who else decorates their tomatoes?

    And thanks. I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

  10. Toni,

    Wow. You dragged all those tomatoes inside? That's dedication. You're growing a whole bunch of stuff that's on my list of tomatoes to try. Funny how that works ... the more varieties I grow, the longer my list gets of new ones I want to try. Next year, I'm thinking hard about adding green zebra to the mix.

    As for covering tonight, I'm seeing a low of 47 where I'm at. When you add in the protective benefit of the water, it'll probably stay warm enough that I won't worry about it. But any time you get below 50, it can't really hurt to cover. Temperatures below that will cause blossom drop and impair fruit setting (actually, for some varieties, anything below 55 is trouble in terms of blossom drop). Besides, if you're getting ice that far south, you must live in some crazy Arctic microclimate.

    And the peppers I care most about actually recovered somewhat today, so I might end up with chocolate habanero after all. Bring on the heat.