Worst year ever, cold, wet, disease.
Put up 1 quart of cooked down tomatoes,
down from my usual 4-8 gallons. Arghhh.
I do rotate.
I grow all heirlooms.
Is there anything I can do to the soil to
make the disease less likely to come back?
I cleaned the top of the soil very carefully,
getting up all the dead bit of leaves I could
Should I grow less tasty but more disease
resistant strains next year?
Sad in Mass,
(Now reading Usenet in rec.gardens.edible...)
What disease was it? What preventive measures have you already
I've been waging war against the <spit!> Thrips and
their weapon of mass destruction, Tomato Spotted Wilt
virus for several years now. I've tried three hybrid varieties
of tomatoes that are supposed to be resistant to TSWV along
with lots of different heirlooms. Only one of the hybrids really
showed much resistance, it was a numbered, not named variety
that I got from a local nursery.
They produced plenty of tomatoes,but the tomatoes were just
ok. I got fewer tomatoes from the pink Brandywines, but, oh my,
they were delicious! One pink Brandywine is still putting out
tomatoes, although the late blight is finally catching up with it.
I also have found that the Stupice tomatoes showed some resistance,
as did the Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red. The yellow and red current
tomatoes laughed in the face of the <spit!> thrips and, while
buried deep in the run amok basil, are still popping out tomatoes.
So, my long, rambly point would be; if you love the taste of the
heirlooms tomatoes as much as I do, you might try doing a little
research or your own experimentation on what kinds show some
resistance to whatever disease it is your tomatoes had.
Hm, and since that puts me over my limit for run on sentences
for the day, I'll go and get some actual work done.
On 11/8/04 11:26 AM, in article firstname.lastname@example.org,
I have found if I keep them covered with plastic (so rain does not fall on
the leaves) I have good success. You can go basic to fancy...I use an old
tent and cover it with plastic...it works great. On some cherry tomatoes I
tied string to some stakes and draped plastic over the top. You could try
using clothes pins to keep the plastic in place or staple the plastic to the
stakes. Lots of different ways to do it. Be creative and you will figure out
a way that works for you.
For real? You put plastic tents over your tomatoes to keep the rain
off? Do you do them by the row, or by each individual plant? Does
any rain reach the ground around the tomatoes? And doesn't it get all
hot and steamy under the plastic, increasing the chances of molds or
On 11/22/04 9:57 AM, in article email@example.com,
Yes, for real. It's called a cold frame... there are lots of sites on
the WWW showing how to build them or you can purchase a commercially built
one. I just use an old tent (just the frame) and cover it with plastic.
My 'tent' is about 20 feet long by 9 feet wide. It is tall enough for me
to stand in...8 feet. I plant tomatoes and sweet peppers on the left and
right side. When the sun shines I leave both ends open to allow air flow
through. Failure to open both ends when the sun is shining will result in
fried tomato and pepper plants!
I have seen frames built with plastic on the top and on three sides, in
a row. How long it has to be would, of course, depend on how many plants you
There are lots of ways to do it and it does work...
Ok, a cold frame is to protect the plants against cold, not from rain.
I'm still curious about that. Are the tomato plants in the, well, what
I would call a greenhouse, not a cold frame, but are they in the
structure to protect them against rain or cold or both?
I have two cold frames. One commercially made that is portable, and
one that my father made that is cinder block and glass. Only, it gets
much too hot in the summer months around here to even consider leaving
the plants in a cold frame without giving it at least partial shade.
I'm in South Carolina, also known as the Mildew State, so air
circulation around tomato and pepper plants is important, too.
That's why I was curious about your set up and why you went to
such lengths to protect them from rain. Around here it gets muggy
enough, especially after one of those July or August thunderstorms,
that covering the plants from the top would be fairly pointless.
Is it the splatter from the ground up onto the plants during a hard
rain that you're trying to prevent?
Forgive me, but I'm a natural blonde:, what is it that the tent is
working to do and why?
On 11/23/04 10:26 AM, in article firstname.lastname@example.org,
The reason for both of us not understanding 'the problem or the
solution' is because your climate and the one I'm used to are very
different. I live on the west coast of Canada in BC. It does not always get
hot here (90 degrees F is hot here) and very rarely humid and there is
almost always a cooling breeze. So the problems we are trying to solve are
very different as will be the solutions.
For the record: A cold frame has no artificial heat source where a
greenhouse does...that's my definition. And having said that I'm thinking
that if my cold frame had glass for the walls I would be inclined to call it
a greenhouse...oops! <g> So I guess I really don't know what they/it should
Where I live in BC (Vancouver area) the temperature rarely gets above
90 degrees Fahrenheit. Our summer temperatures are cooler than what you
would experience in South Carolina and in order to get tomatoes to ripen
(especially the big beef or beefeater) here, I need to try to maintain a
higher temperature and keep the rain off as the rain seems to encourage the
My original reply was to Andrew Hall who, in his original post,
commented on wet, cold weather conditions. It would seem that Andrew has
similar conditions that I have experienced. I solved the problem with an old
tent frame covered in plastic...
Sorry for the longwinded post.
Penelope what success have you had growing tomatoes? And another
question: How do you keep your greenhouse/cold frame(?) cool in the summer?
<bad tomato year, look up thread for details>
Penelope, I'm going to try to present the general environment
with a somewhat gloomy overcast of it...
Bill seems to live INSIDE a rain forest...
He indicated British Columbia, Vancouver. When I visited it
wasn't too much different from Seattle. 29 days of each month
are overcast... although I only visited during the month of June,
the people there seemed to indicate that it was a year round
condition. There is NO SUNSHINE. :-) Although, Calgary
might not be as bad as Vancouver... Bill did mention
When I visited Vancouver I drove from Miami, FL and I was
used to Sunshine. I spent a couple weeks in Vancouver and
the people there had a bright outlook but they LOVED sunshine.
An hour of sunshine was a national holiday. :-) It was odd for me,
because after 7 days I felt the gloom of it being overcast so
much... and I brought up the question if there was ever any
sunshine... they laughed and asked "Sun? What's the sun?" and
it became an unending joke...
His cold frame is probably a rain shield... rainforest means
29 days of each month is overcast and/or rainy and there's
a lot of shade (forest).
Vancouver is a wonderful city to visit but don't expect to
see but an hour of sunshine if you stay a whole month.
:-) I think I'm pretty accurate in this statement... if not, Bill
can correct me. I might be exagerating... it's like the fish
I caught 20 years ago...
Post replies to newsgroup.
On 11/25/04 12:33 PM, in article
akrpd.72054$ email@example.com, "Jim Carlock"
Well, without getting into too much detail...we do have lots of rain.
Most of it falls in the winter months. The last two summers we had no
rainfall for about three to five months. Watering restrictions were imposed.
Lots of sunshine...and things grew very well.
The coldframe is to keep the rain off the tomato plants and to keep them
in a hotter environment when the sun does not shine...which does happen at
times. Some summers, like the last two or more, are hot and sunny. Other
summers are cloudy with more rain. It varies.
It is definitely not humid here in summer. Because it cools off at night
having a cold frame means that we can close it up and maintain a higher
temperature for the tomato plants. Not many people here have air
conditioners in their homes. If it gets really hot we just suffer through
it. It doesn't usually last for too long.
There are some months (and years) where the sun won't appear very
much...so you are not totally wrong. It depends to which year you are
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