Bring on the Rain

The plan was to transplant starting Mother’s Day, but peeking at our ten day forecast with no frost in the near future, I felt emboldened to begin planting immediately. Rain was predicted. What could be better than a nice drink for all my newly planted veggies? (After muddying in, of course, rain just isn’t the same thing.) So, the plants were nestled all snug in their beds, while I was nestled all snug on my couch, when what should appear? Hail! That put a fear in me, but what could I do? I had made my veggies’ bed and now they had to live or die in it. There is a happy ending: the hail was small and did no damage whatsoever. Whew!

Questionable judgement aside, have you ever known better, but somehow forgot? Just like my potato baking mistake, I made a simple gardening mistake. First, you may ask, how can one screw up potatoes? Whenever My Love bakes potatoes, I remind him to pierce the skin so they don’t explode. Sure enough, when I, on a whim, put a couple potatoes in to bake with the chicken, I failed to pierce the skin. Yes, they do indeed explode most dramatically and messily all over the oven. My Love was impressed (by the exploding potato, not by me). On to my garden mistake: knowing it was going to rain, I failed to mulch my tomatoes. No big deal? Well, maybe, if I didn’t know we have suffered from blight. I didn’t think of it until I saw my tomatoes splashed with dirt. Did I rotate my veggies? Yes, but will it be enough to save them? I have my doubts.

Mulch is a good thing, keeping moisture and temperature even, keeping weeds down, and keeping soil from carrying disease to your plants. Learn from my mistake. Oh, and always pierce your potato before baking.


17 Responses to “Bring on the Rain”

  1. Is mulching really effective in keeping blight at bay? I had never hears of that. Two years ago we had a devastating widespread blight descend on us and wipe out the tomato crops for miles around. What do you mulch with? Or does that matter? Is it just to keep the soil from splashing up on the plants?

    • Not exactly. There are spores in the soil that splashed onto your plant can grow and reproduce. Once there, the released spores are airborne. I was hoping to cut them off at the pass before they ever got a start. I mulch veggies with straw, but if you have marsh hay, I hear that’s good. I’m trying a couple supposedly blight resistant varieties, but I was hoping to avoid the blight this year. We’ll just have to hope for dry air this summer.

      • I see. thanks for the tip – I’ll try it, for what it’s worth (ie, knowing that it is also air-borne). Each year brings challenges of its own – if not blight, it will be something else. Aren’t we gardeners perennial optimists? NOT! Realists, maybe… 🙂

  2. Golf ball sized hail here last night. Plants OK except for one lily that just popped up and an apple tree that lost a lot of leaves. Autos didn’t fare as well…dents everywhere and a cracked windshield. Mother Nature just reminding us that she is in charge.

    • Ouch. I hope the insurance will cover that damage.

      • Windshield already replaced this morning…and covered by insurance. Almost every surface is dented somewhere and the insurance company will send us to the dealer who will total the car (ridiculous) and offer us a buy back for the cost of the repairs. I’ll be living with dents.

      • What? Can you translate that from insurancese to something that makes sense? Sorry to hear you have to live with those dents. I should have figured the insurance company would find some weasel way out.

  3. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll be sure to mulch my tomatoes once I transplant them. (Here in MN, we’ve got a couple of weeks to go yet.)

  4. Its so hard to wait till the middlish/end of may to start planting when so many others are already seeing stuff coming up. I do sometimes forget though and buy a plant that is just soooo pretty, then I have to keep it in the garage.

    • How do they keep coming up with such gorgeous flowers? I’d have an easier time with the “marshmallow test” if my temptation were actual confections instead of plants!

  5. As you know I just started gardening this year for the first time. I’m doing it to relieve stress and having something enjoyable to do as well as put food on the table…lol. After reading your blog post I’m wondering if it releases stress or creates it! lol I really hope your veggies do well! I remember Wisconsin weather!

    • Don’t mind me, I’m clearly making gardening harder than it has to be. Your garden can offer a lush green haven from the world and the food doesn’t get any fresher. Good luck with your new garden!

  6. I hadn’t thought about how mulching could help towards spreading bright, or rather no spreading it. I’m a fan of mulching, so any other reason to add to the list i sgreat by me ! Lovely blog 🙂

    • Mulching is a good thing, but bunnies like it, too. Once I wondered what was wrong with a soaker hose, and the answer was a rabbit gnawed through it to make a nest!

      Thanks for the compliment.

  7. […] up on gardening blogs, I read with some alarm a recent post from Planthoarder (  We, too, planted tomato plant seedlings recently and I have not yet mulched around them.  I […]

  8. Hm! Good reminder, thank you! This year all of my tomatoes are in a no dig garden ( ) and in containers. I hadn’t thought before how the no dig garden (because there’s so little soil, and the straw is the top layer) MIGHT cut back on the threat of soil borne diseases. Hm. I’ll have to see if that pans out. I enjoy your blog, thanks!

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