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jal_ut
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Growing tomatoes..... an exercise in futility.

Woke up this morning to frost. The leaves on the tomatoes, squash, melons, potatoes, and beans are black. I didn't get one red tomato.
Sigh..............................
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Hispoptart
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Awww man so sorry to hear that. I thought we would frost so I covered everything but we didn't. But tonight is supposed to be colder so we covered everything again, I sure hope it makes it.

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rainbowgardener
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Wow, what a difficult climate you grow in!
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stella1751
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What a drag, Jal_UT! It's been an incredibly short season out here in the West. It's below freezing outside right now; I hope I was able to save the peppers.
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Halfway
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Re: Growing tomatoes..... an exercise in futility.

jal_ut wrote:Woke up this morning to frost. The leaves on the tomatoes, squash, melons, potatoes, and beans are black. I didn't get one red tomato.
Sigh..............................
No red tomatoes for the whole season?

Wow.
Zone 4a.

garden5
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Man, Jal, that really stinks :(. You have a pretty short growing season, don't you?

Was this frost earlier than usual?

It's too bad that the toms got frost-bitten, or else you could have brought them inside to ripen. This happened to me last year. I had about 150 tomatoes that had gotten hit by the frost that I brought inside to ripen. They went from green to rotten :lol:.
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Ohhhh. I'm so sorry to hear that. What a shame. :(

Hmmm.... Would you consider using poly tunnel at beginning and end of season? You would have less of the fungal disease issues that accompany poly tunnels. I guess watering would be the snag since you use overhead sprinklers.

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:( Oh no!!!!!!! And your garden is sooo beautiful!!! I have to ask like everyone else, was this just a super short season, or unexpected frost? Hopefully some things bounce back... if not, well on to the next right?
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jal_ut
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It has been a weird season. Cold through May and June, nothing got going good, then hot and dry for July. Not one measurable rain event in July. Yes, the frost came early. It snuck up on me, I was not expecting it or I could have taken some precautions.

We had 112 days frost free. Most years we get 120 and sometimes 130. One never knows.

The tomato leaves are all black, but the vines and fruit are not frozen. I covered them with 6 mil poly and maybe they will ripen under wraps. I end up most years ripening tomatoes under wraps. I usually get them covered before they freeze though. I didn't get many cukes this year. They were slow to grow because it was so cool in June, then it froze just as they were getting into it good.

In spite of that I have had a good garden this year. The onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, chard and other greens all did well. The green beans did exceptionally well. I still have squash, pumpkins, watermelons, and with a little luck 2 or 3 cantaloups. Oh, ya, there is still 2 rows of corn that are not ready yet, and I am sure that will finish. The corn didn't show much damage from the frost. The potatoes did well too, but I have only dug a few. I want them to toughen up a bit before I dig the whole crop.
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soil
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gotta love not depending on a monocrop! sorry to hear about your tomato troubles jal. some years are good for some crops. others good for other crops.
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Hispoptart
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So when you wrap your tom's do you leave it on until they ripen or take it off during the day? Like you we had a very short season here also, but we are almost in the same climate. We usually get 2 more weeks of good weather after the first frost, how about you? If so your corn should finish fine and maybe our butternuts will make it. Lets cross our fingers.

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jal_ut
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Yes, the first frost signals the start of "Indian Summer", and we should have a couple more weeks of decent weather without frost.

The corn will make it. There is enough energy stored in the stalks to finish the corn even if the leaves freeze. The corn leaves did not freeze.

I leave the cover on the tomatoes except to pick what is ripe.

applestar, I did a little research on poly tunnels. The price astounded me. For the $50 for a ten foot by 18x12 tunnel.............. one better just buy food!!!

Maybe I could find some good long willow shoots and form them into loops and cover them with poly? I would like to make it large enough to let the plants mature in . That would mean about six feet wide and 4 feet tall. Hmmm, something to think about. I could get away with it here, I think, with the dry climate.
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jal_ut wrote:Yes, the first frost signals the start of "Indian Summer", and we should have a couple more weeks of decent weather without frost.

The corn will make it. There is enough energy stored in the stalks to finish the corn even if the leaves freeze. The corn leaves did not freeze.

I leave the cover on the tomatoes except to pick what is ripe.

applestar, I did a little research on poly tunnels. The price astounded me. For the $50 for a ten foot by 18x12 tunnel.............. one better just buy food!!!

Maybe I could find some good long willow shoots and form them into loops and cover them with poly? I would like to make it large enough to let the plants mature in . That would mean about six feet wide and 4 feet tall. Hmmm, something to think about. I could get away with it here, I think, with the dry climate.

Actually, Jal, most folks make the tunnels themselves by bending PVC pipe into a series of hoops, then draping the plastic over that....a lot cheaper that way.

Good luck ripening the tomatoes. Perhaps you will have better luck than I did if you did not get a very hard frost. How did your peppers fair?
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stella1751
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jal_ut wrote:It has been a weird season. Cold through May and June, nothing got going good, then hot and dry for July. Not one measurable rain event in July. Yes, the frost came early. It snuck up on me, I was not expecting it or I could have taken some precautions.

We had 112 days frost free. Most years we get 120 and sometimes 130. One never knows.
I imagine we had the same as you, Jal_UT. I tried to look up the last frost in May this morning, but I couldn't find it. 112 days sounds about right.

I think it's not so much quantity as quality, or lack thereof, this year. At least 40 of those 112 days were wet and cold, with highs in the 50's or 60's and lows in the 30's or 40's. My peppers stalled. I set most of them out on June 1, and they just sat there, twiddling their roots, completely uninterested in growing for 30 or so days. It just plain wasn't a gardening season.

Next year has to be, must be, better. Last year was okay, but we need and deserve another 2008 :-)
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AkeenGardener
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tomatoes

In the UK, we have had 2 wet summers and lots of tomato blight as a result so I am also beginning to wonder if its worth growing them. Then I get a few off and the wonderful taste reminds me why I keep on trying. Its a gardeners lot, we never know whats around the corner weather wise and early frosts are a killer!

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jal_ut
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soil wrote:gotta love not depending on a monocrop! sorry to hear about your tomato troubles jal. some years are good for some crops. others good for other crops.
There is a lot of wisdom in that.
Its a gardeners lot, we never know whats around the corner weather wise and early frosts are a killer!
Surely the truth.

I plant in faith knowing that it is a gamble, but by planting a wide variety of plants I have always got a harvest of something. In the end, the rewards far outstrip the failures.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

garden5
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Jal, you could try growing varieties that are early maturing and handle the cold well, such as stupice.
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