Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomato's and Heat

Well the tomato's look like they are done for the summer. It's just getting too hot for them to set fruit. Not to mention that it seems no amount of water seems to keep the leaves from curling up.  I'm hoping I can keep them watered and alive for the next couple of months. If so, they should start setting fruit again once it cools back off.  I know I got a late start putting them in the ground this spring and so really, I'm happy to have gotten a few nice fresh and tasty tomato's from them.  It sure would have been nice to have been able to put some up though.  The hope now is to have a good fall crop. Get some canned.  We use a
lot of tomato's and tomato products around here and having them on hand would sure cut the grocery costs. I'm happy to say that I've been able to put up several jars of pickles, both sweet and dills this year.  We should be good to go on them for the coming year. As for the tomato's, maybe it's all for the best. If we have a good fall crop I can do some canning while it's not 100+ degrees outside! 

Speaking of hot weather some of you may recall that our air conditioner is out. A hail storm last year took  out the fan blade and we haven't been able to locate another one.  It seems they stopped manufacturing the part. Thanks to a good friend, I've been able to locate another one on Ebay after months of searching. Of course ordering it isn't in the budget at the moment but it's good to know where I can find it.  The only reason I bring it up is because being without a/c will make you re-think the way you do some things.  Like firing up the oven.  Lately I have been waiting till after dark and it's cooling down to bake my bread. It means I stay up a bit later to get it done but I'm not trying to bake when the outside temps and the oven temps seem to be about the same!  I've also been doing what little canning as well as other baking I've been able to do this year at night.  As a matter of fact I've got one last batch of pickles that needs processing and a cake that I've been dying to try on the agenda for tonight.

 Even though the temperatures are staying around 100 degrees here it is time to start thinking about Fall garden. I am getting ready to pull out my seeds from the freezer and see what all I can get started. I'm counting on the fact that if I get them started Mars will till us up a place to put them.  Yeah, I know, it's a little "sneaky" but I know he just won't be able stand to see those cute little plants going "homeless".  LOL   Besides, with the cost of everything going up so dramatically this past year, how can we afford not to grow as much of our own foods as possible.  It's not like food prices are going to be going down and we all need to eat. 

So have you started planning or planting anything yet?  I've said it before and I'll continue to say it... If you do not have some sort of food growing , you should be.  No excuses.  I don't want to hear that you don't have any room for growing food. I will call you out on that one!  If nothing else, you can grow a little herb garden in your kitchen window.  Make a salad garden and grow it on your patio.  Anything is better than nothing. You can't eat "nothing".   We are coming on some hard times as individuals and as a nation and it is our DUTY to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. No one is "coming to help".  We have to be responsible for ourselves.  You must look out for you and yours and do the very best you can. 

The deal we were supposed to be getting on the internet connection is still on a holding pattern.  They showed up to do the install after a 3 week wait and things went great for all of a day and a half.  Then it just stopped working.  Apparently the modem is bad.  So after calling WildBlue about the problem, they set up a date for a tech to come out and fix the problem.  The earliest time we could get them out here.... TWO WEEKS.  Well since there was nothing we could do about that I set up the appointment for them to come out.  They should have been here yesterday.  No one called and no one came out.  After spending several hours on the phone throughout the day demanding some sort of explanation they rescheduled.  For next week.  Of course, when they charged me for the service they took it out even before it was ever even installed. Do they care that it will now be SIX weeks and still no service?  Yeah, well... of course not!  OK, rant over.  So for now I'm still using the aircard. Not the greatest way to be online but certainly better than none.

      ~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~


  1. Bummer on the tomatoes. I've been out in the early morning rattling tomato cages so mine keep setting fruit before the heat kicks in.

    Wait... curling.. or wilting? Do you have any mulch around them? If you have any finished compost, a top dressing of that would be helpful.

  2. Hang in there, Sweet Lady, all good things come to those that wait...until it just ticks you off and you find their office. Baseball bat time.

  3. Anne, I'm sorry to say I don't have the tomato's mulched. I need to get that done soon. As for the compost, we have a pile started but its still really new, as we haven't been out here long enough to have a good finished product yet.

    Stephen you crack me up! It's a good thing there isn't a local office within a days drive of me....

  4. I feel your pain on the tomatoes as mine are doing almost as bad!

    Only thing doing OK in my patch is the okra and the peppers!

    Hoping for the best for ya!

  5. Gosh, we're having quite the opposite problem where I live. It was the coolest spring in 20 years. It is 76 today and windy (again). My tomatoes are not even 10" high and no flowers yet. Peppers are maybe 6 inches. I don't know what to do to keep your tomatoes from wilting, sorry. I'm afraid mine will be so late, the frost will get to them before I can even harvest. Keep us posted.

  6. Hey Sci, I had wild blue and it sucked. Lots of connection prolbems and their tec. support was terrible. O well maybe things will be better for you all. FK

  7. Rose, it seems like the weather has been all over the map this year. I'm sorry to hear about your tomato's. We are lucky with the hot peppers this year since we were able to let them winter over. The bells that I planted aren't doing nearly as well. It seems like I can't get enough water to them... Oh well, such is a gardener's life!

    FK I've heard the same thing from a couple of different people about Wild Blue. And I am seeing first hand how "wonderful" their customer service is. Wish me luck!!

  8. Sorry about your tomatoes. You might want to try a tomato that sets in hot weather - Solar Fire is the one we use here in SW FL. We're getting large, great tasting tomatoes from them.

    Leaf curl - if water doesn't perk the plants up you may have another problem like nematodes or blight. Check with local Cooperative Extension Office, part of the State University system that is paid for with your tax dollars. When you get connected you can find the info on their website.

    We can't have a compost pile so I make my 'instant' compost - run the kitchen waste with cooking water in the blender, then bury in the garden near whatever plants need it no trace in 2 days. Now that it is rainy season, I just bury the kitchen waste in the garden - three or four days and all but the egg shells are gone.

    To keep my kitchen cooler when I have to use the oven - as soon as I've finished using the oven I open the oven door and direct a fan at it to dissipate the heat within 30 minutes. Otherwise, my oven & kitchen stay warm for up to 4 hours.

  9. I had a problem with our local internet provider, i.e. lack of service, bad equipment, etc. so I went to satellite (HughesNet). Now I don't have problems. It isn't as fast as DSL but fast enough for me. It's a little pricey but worth it to me.

  10. The tomatoes, okra, and cucumbers at Casa de Crazy are going great guns (I really need to learn how to pickle and preserve!), and this year we've even had some onions and eggplant! We may get some sort of squash when all's said and done. We got bupkus for beans and peas, though, and no limas at all...sigh. We had one wee cabage, but the bugs got the broccoli, cauliflower, and other cabages...and for potatoes we got a handful, but we (meaning Someone) are still learning with those. The strawberries and blueberries didn't do much, but we have high hopes for next year. Dittoes the lettuce.

    Finally, this isn't our year for peppers in general, but I DID get one of Phelan's Thai Insanity Peppers (akaPrik-e-gnu) to grow and produce, and that has me tickled.

    Speaking of gardens...look for a package in the next little while - I dunno if it's UPS or Fed-Ex - from Momlady and me, somethin' for your garden, or wherever it's useful.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  11. Bellen, Thanks for the tip on the Solar Flares. I'll be sure to check on that. As to the leaf curl I have a feeling you may be right about the nematods. I hadn't even considered that. As this is the first time anything has been planted in this spot who knows! I'm sure I will end up being on a first name basis with the County Agent before all is said and done!!

    Hey Momlady! Satellite is what we are waiting on. I'm sure hoping that the service we have received so far isn't going to be an ongoing issue with them. As for the cost, we live in a rural area and so are going to be a part of some guberment grant that gives us hicks a break on the $$ and allows for high speed internet. I guess we'll see how it goes!

    Kyydryn, all in all it sounds like you guys are having some pretty good luck with your garden. Oh and you would be amazed at how simple both pickling AND preserving really is. I know you and I share the same thoughts on "the easy button" Easy is my motto! As for the broccoli and stuff, I guess bugs gotta eat too. I just hate being the one who ends up feeding them!! I remember Phelan sending you those wicked hot pepper's. Mars is a huge fan of HOT peppers, I sure would like to talk to you about a few of those seeds.... Package??? Oh, I'm soo excited now. I just love packages in the mail. Especially the ones that come right out of the blue! I'll be on the look-out for the guys in shorts!! LOL

  12. Try some shade along with your mulch. You may get your tomatoes thru the hot part of the summer in time to get some ripening before frost. Good luck. I would use sheets on sticks weighted down on the west side of the plants to protect from the heat of the afternoon.


  13. Agreeing with Bellen.. although I was thinking curly top virus. If you water and the plant perks up.. then it is just dry, but if the plant doesn't bounce back.. it is a whole 'nother problem. I'm about to rip out close to 40 tomato plants due to curly top that probably came off of the alfalfa fields.