I was in a bad mood last night.
I had learned a few days before that the temperature was going to drop near frost levels and I didn’t prepare. Needless to say I had a challenge last night finding and covering the tomatoes and peppers in the middle of a pretty good downpour.
Everyone out this way is tired of winter and the unpredictable weather. I have a philosophy when it comes to weather and that is that its always unpredictable.
But many people let the unpredictability rob them of certain experiences. I constantly get flack for setting out tomatoes in late March. The old – I only put out tomatoes after tax day speech from old timers. The old timers have a point but if they were to put out tomatoes today then they’d see frost tonight.
I personally would rather put out 1/3 to 1/2 of my started plants early and protect what I can in the event of any frost than wait a few more weeks for fresh garden tomatoes. Its a gamble and a risk that each person has to take on his/her own.
When it comes to covering I don’t really put a huge amount of effort into it. I try to get 90% plus of the plants I can. I use a combination of clear plastic as well as buckets, barrel halves, old plastic bags. Basically I use something that will protect the plant from frost but not so opaque as to block out all light.
This seems to work pretty well. I’m sure the plants are a little stunted but in the long run I seem to get tomatoes earlier from the earlier plants.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.