Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009

Ok, I know I'm going to take flack for this post from my buddies in the Gulf States, but tonight we're having one doosy of a storm.  It's even bad for fall/winter around here.  It's crazy that we're getting it now in May for goodness sakes!

Anyway, I heard this afternoon that some areas were going to get gusts of 60 miles an hour and driving rain.  I immediately thought of my poor newly planted tomatoes.  I tricked them into thinking it was going to be sunny since I planted them in decent weather. 

I raced home as fast as I could but it was already raining pretty hard and a bit windy at 6, six hours before the real storm was supposed to hit.  You should have seen me out there in my dress shoes, slacks and light spring jacket getting soaked while I put up all the hoop covers I could.  I even broke out my nifty new plastic clothes pins from the Dollar Tree store.  

You can see I added more clips to the tops of the hoops to secure it better for high winds.  After the hoop covers were up, I turned my attention to the tomatoes.  First I installed my tomato cages, securing them with twist ties (also from the dollar store).

You can see I got the jumbo cages this time.  Too bad, the plan I had to use garbage bags over the cages, secured to the SWC didn't work.  The cages were too tall and the 45 gallon trash bags didn't even reach the top of the plants.  Darn.  Ok, improvise in a hurry, it's raining cats and dogs.  The small bed actually has two small plastic pieces to cover it because I ran out of plastic and had to cut a piece off of another hoop cover.  Well for this storm I didn't need both pieces, so I threw the extra piece over the two SWCs and bed #2 like this.

Spanning over bed #2 to the other SWC...

Yeah, a makeshift umbrella.  I actually took one of the garbage bags and clipped it around the tomato plants like a skirt.  No pic of that as my phone was getting soggy.  Though from the picture above you can see how poorly the plants are handling all the rain.  Not fair to them at all.  Grrr.  Bring on the sun!

When it came to the old SWC over by the potatoes, the cages were much smaller, so I got to actually make use of my brainstorm.

Isn't it cute?  Hehe. 

Now, what are the odds that anything will be standing tomorrow, even if we only gust to 45 miles per hour with 30 mile sustainable winds?  My guess is the majority will be gone.  I just hope none of my SWCs are damaged.  I can envision cages flying everywhere.  My neighbor commented that during the last storm that wasn't nearly as bad, he saw a branch fly off a 150 foot tree in the wetland and fly through his backyard, over his house into his front yard.  Scary.

Well, the good news is that the Mel's Mix works again.  None of the beds had anything close to puddles.  Works like a charm, even after a year.  Pretty cool.  Oh, and pardon the mess, the weeds need to be whacked down something fierce, or better yet yanked out.  So many weeds, so little time, hehe.

Well, the wind's picking up as we get closer to midnight.  I have my own wind meter outside.  We love our wind chimes, but boy are they obnoxious in wind storms, hehe.

Lastly, on an unrelated note, my remaining soil block seedlings are growing, slowly.  The bad news is that I fear that they're actually Italienshier lettuce rather than stevia.  If so, what the heck happened to my stevia plants?  Tomorrow I'll try to take a pic of them so readers can compare it to their stevia plants.

Enjoy your garden and stay dry!


  1. We've had rain and storms here since Friday...We certainly need it, but enough is enough. We're in for another three days worth, but you're right. I never thought about it, but there are no puddles in the beds. Very cool.

  2. We got some storming here too last night, hail, 70 mph winds, big old oaks down and even a tornado. Not pretty! But back to you. I had a storm like the one last night a week or so after I transplanted and things looked pretty bad the next day with holes from hail and the whole nine yards. A week later, looked like nothing happened. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  3. Lettuce know how you made out with the storm. We usually don't get storms until mid to late summer. Last year we had one that actually blew the apples of the trees, not just a few but all of them. :(


  4. engineeredgardenMay 5, 2009 at 12:31 AM

    Oh god....I don't even want to talk about rain. Maybe the plants will be ok in that high wind. All you can do is try your best to protect them, and you certainly have. BTW, I did a rain barrel post for ya!

  5. Sinfonian, Google Images has a ton of photos of stevia plants. Compare yours with them at

    Sometimes good things come from wind storms. If the wind hadn't knocked down our maple tree last summer, I wouldn't be gardening or blogging right now! That gave me the sunny space I needed to grow something.


  6. I hear ya on this miserable weather. I'm ready for the sun too. Looks like you did a great job with covering everything up. How'd it do through the storm?
    PS: Came here from Annie's blog and have seen you around a few other blogs I read too... I'm just down the road from in you in PDX. ::waves hi::