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Frost-free?

Planting tomatoes

My weather guru doesn't want to commit to no more frosts this early in May. But the 10-day forecast shows lows only descending in the mid-50s to low-60s between now and our frost-free date, so I decided to go ahead and set out our tomatoes. Worst-cast scenario, we can always cover the plants with buckets during the inevitable Blackberry Winter. Best-case scenario, there won't be any more freezes and our little plants can finally start perking up with their feet in the earth. I know it's just my imagination, but the plants look happier already.

Sweet potato slips

Meanwhile, I went ahead and set out eight sweet potato slips as well. I've got lots more slips coming off my tubers inside or rooting in a cup of water, and those will go in the ground throughout the month of May. But since these guys were rooted and ready (and since the highs are suddenly very summery), I decided to set them out early.

On the other hand, I really will wait to transplant the peppers and basil until after our frost-free date. Probably. Maybe....



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I set out some of my tomatoes and my issue isn't overnight lows, but high afternoon winds! They haven't broken off, but they are all laying sideways. They are small and flexible, but now rather flat. Every afternoon this week we expect gusts up to 20+ miles per hour.
Comment by Charity Wed May 6 11:27:26 2015
Even AccuWeather is going out on a limb and saying we have most likely had our last frost here in central Pennsylvania.
Comment by Julie Wed May 6 11:55:25 2015

Charity --- You could just go with it and mound up a bit of dirt around the base of the sideways plants. After all, tomatoes will root along any part of stem that gets buried, so you'd end up with more roots and a long-term stronger plant that way. That's why a lot of people bury their tomato plants quite deep, up to the first leaves or deeper.

Julie --- I hope AccuWeather is right. Because the forecast here changed overnight, predicting a low of 44 sometime next week. (Of course, as I check again...now they're back to the low 50s. So who knows what will actually happen.)

Comment by anna Wed May 6 13:59:40 2015
My neighbor up the road has much larger tomatoes than I do (I just planted my last one!) because he got brave and believed the warm spring would go on. It has, but last yr's spring when we got a few frosts in April which killed most of the peppers I had put out (b/c we were past the frost-free date!) and so that made me overly cautious.
Comment by Emily Wed May 6 18:07:50 2015