This summer is beginning to push me to my limits!

We had a freak wind rip into the garden today, bringing with it some nasty rain. The wind jostled all my corn but worst of all was what it did to my tomatoes.  This year, at great expense, I upgraded my tomato stakes from bamboo to fancy wooden ones that were supposed to last for years.

I’ll bet you can see where this is going….  Well under the weight of the green tomatoes and with the strength of the wind, four stakes (so far) snapped right off at the base!  The rest are all a bit cock-eyed.  I’m hoping that the damp warmth doesn’t bring about the blight, because I don’t think I could stand it!  When the wind dies down tomorrow I’ll spray with a copper something – depending on the withholding period… Oh I don’t know.

And disaster struck!

And disaster struck!

Then I’m going to head to my local hardware store and get me some metal stakes and replace the wooden ones and bang them in so securely they will be touching the centre of the earth!  No one messes with my tomatoes!

In the meantime – I invite you to sit back and check out a movie I made of happier times in my garden – which was actually only last week!

>click here to watch<

My latest you tube movie

My latest you tube movie

Come again soon – I will not allow myself to be defeated in this epic battle with the weather this summer!

Sarah the Gardener : o )

21 Comments on “This summer is beginning to push me to my limits!

  1. I like to use those green metal posts that are used for putting up chicken wire–find them in the fencing section–they have holes and hooks on them and come in different sizes. Not especially attractive but functional and re-usable.

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    • Hi There. Thanks for the advice. I think in this instance heavy duty functional outweighs the attractive option. But it’s got to be done.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi There. Thanks for the advice. I was going to try and pop the wooden stakes out and slip the new ones in the same hole. But then I thought about it… the plants are too big and too entangled in the existing stakes that it will actually be quite a nightmare, but it needs to be done so there may be a bit of root sacrifice.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Isn’t it funny how emotional we get in the garden – when it’s all going well I think I was born to garden. When it’s not – I had terrible wind damage last week – I feel like chucking it all in. My tomatoes keep me up at night!

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    • Hi Kimberley. I cling to the faded memory of the first season I gardened. Everything seemed to grow perfectly and the weather was ideal all summer. It probably wasn’t but it is how I remember it. Every year I seem to try to recreate that elusive perfect growing season and I always encounter some kind of problem.

      Some things can be really heartbreaking. Our tomatoes should bounce back – although maybe just a little frazzled around the edges!

      I’ve been known to nip out in my PJs in the middle of the night to check on things or send Hubby the Un-Gardener!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. So sorry about the wind storm. We had one last summer that laid the corn sideways. Fortunately corn pops right back up when the sun shines.

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    • Hi Lucinda. I think the worst part is it’s not even a full on storm, its just a strong wind that blows in for a couple of hours, creates havoc and then disappears as quickly as it came, leaving summer to carry on as normal, leaving me to pick up the pieces, only for it to happen again once I feel in control again!
      So frustrating.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. Ugh…I feel your pain. Last year and the year before and the year before it was my sweet corn the storms got. I won’t plant it again. Before you go to the hardware store for metal stakes, consider instead a farm store and look for steel T-posts. That’s what I use with great success. They are about $1/foot and last absolutely forever and are next to impossible to break.

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    • Hi Jenn. I was considering something similar to T-posts. We call them Y-posts or waratahs. They are strong enough for when we have to tether the goats so I’m sure they will be ideal.
      I was aiming for atheistically pleasing, but the harsh reality is I really need utilitarian!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • By the time those tomatoes get big and bushy and producing wonderful fruits you won’t be able to see the stakes anyway. 😀

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  5. Cheers for the heads up on the radish seed pods…I might have to put some in just to let them go :). Make some zucchini cream with those overgrown zukes…I was excited to find this recipe… http://www.food.com/recipe/zucchini-cream-130433 you can use about a third of the sugar asked for in the recipe and still have a fantastic sweet curd…anything that makes something storable out of monster zucchini’s is alright by me! ;). We planted lots of cherry tomatoes, thin finger eggplants and other early ripening vegetables because of our short growing season. We have our own problems here in Northern Tasmania. Apparently, because of the last 2 years being fantastic with summer rain (not normal here) right through, amazing hay production etc. the possum and wallaby numbers have built up alarmingly and as we decided to put in veggie gardens this year we have had to do everything short of electrifying the area to keep the sods out! We just discovered that they had pushed hard on the bird netting surrounding the capsicum bed (now that they are visible after hooking out all of the overgrown bitter rocket plants) and scoffed all of the leaves!…sigh…I commiserate with you my fellow Tasman sea sharer :(. Check out this great post from Milkwood permaculture about how they solved their tomato problems…http://milkwood.net/2012/12/04/bring-on-tomato-season-and-what-were-doing-differently-this-year/
    looks ideal to me and I am going to do this next year for SURE! Mine are flopping all over the place and are one big MASS of tomatoes of all colours and shapes. Pretty soon summer will be over and it will be winter veggies all round. They tend to be MUCH hardier and easy to grow than summer veg 🙂

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    • Hi Fran. Wow zuke cream?! I’ve have so many of the darn things it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. A zuke soup recipe also caught my eye on the bottom of the page – a likely candidate for tea tomorrow!
      I just cracked open a jar of pickled radish seed pods and I have to say they are mighty fine on a cracker with a nice rich brie and a cold glass of wine.
      The milkwood site looks really cool and I can’t wait to have a proper look about. I don’t know what it is about these tomatoes. They seem to be more unruly than years gone by. I think I need to build a jail or some kind of correctional facility.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • I agree, my tomatoes are all over the place! Milkwood is an amazing site with so many wonderful permaculture ideas and tutorials you will drool! I forget that people don’t know about Milkwood and they are missing out :).

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  6. Last year was our first year gardening, and there were some things I did not take seriously. One was staking tomato plants. I had dropped some cages over a few plants but didn’t really make an effort to anchor them. We had a storm roll in with very strong winds. I found myself running! I ran out to the garden grabbing anything heavy I could find to drop on the bottom of the cages to hold them down– including metal objects while lightning was streaking all over the place. I was thinking as the lightning struck and I started getting pelted with rain, “Oh God!! I’m going to die by electrocution! For a tomato plant!!!!!”
    Needless to say, I’ll be making sure to stake, cage, or reinforce all plants PROPERLY this year!

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    • HI there.
      The things we do for our gardens! I have to say I have been outside in my PJs in the middle of the night and in the middle of storms trying to rescue things! Complete madness, but so much effort goes into the grow that you can’t seem to help yourself!
      Good luck with your next season, may it be bountiful!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  7. Two summers ago we planted our tomatoes away from the house. We thought enough until a tropical storm came through and the water from the roof was blown off with enough force to flatten the plants. It was like a fire hose! Fortunately the tomatoes can bounce back. Hopefully yours will as well.

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    • Hi There.
      There is always some kind of challenge when gardening, often they completely blind side you. Who would have thought you’d have that much water come off the roof at once!
      Thanks for your support.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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