Protecting the Tomatoes from the cold

Hello my fellow gardeners,  and yes I know another update so soon.. But I thought I would share how we have been protecting our tomato plants from this cold snap this week.. 

My hubby rigged up this bubble wrap around them over the week-end as it was forecast to drop in temperatures..  And sure enough they have dropped with bitter winds and outbursts of hail and thunder in between for the last couple of days where we live. 

So here are some pictures of the tomatoes as he planted into the allotment green house and the end of last week.

The tomatoes are in and you can see how high they are.. They were all ready for transplanting into their larger pots.  You can also see the bubble wrap draped near the glass as extra insulation.  Click on images to enlarge. 

To keep them warm and stop the cold from getting to them. My hubby rigged up this tent of bubble wrap. He lifts it during the daytime to allow air to circulate or they may get mildew. And yes they are my laundry pegs used too 😉          

 

Here is a look through the glass from outside.. lot of space  behind.

And the forecasters were right.. A cold spell swept down the country bringing an arctic blast of cold air and with it some Sleet and Hail storms with thunder mixed in.. We have had several hail storms now and some heavy showers . Lots happening around the world right now with our weather..  And it’s always good to keep in touch with the long-range forecasts if you are planting out.. Frosts can come as late as the end of May.. And to be honest the way the weather has been ‘acting up’ recently nothing surprises me anymore. 

These two plots have gone back to nature.. The allotment association has mowed the grass down.. And anyone who takes on the plot can have it ploughed free of charge.. But you can see how quickly it gets overgrown. 

But before I show you the hail we have been having.. Remember I said in my last post how if we do not keep on top of our allotments how Nature soon reclaims back. Well the garden plot  above is a photo of a plot vacated only last year when the allotmenteer had a heart attack.. He is now fine.. but he gave up his plot.. He had hens at the bottom and potatoes and beans at the top.. That old apple tree gives the finest of apples and we have had many a good apple from it in the past the previous owner of the plot would offer them out in abundance to all who passed by.. We have a thing going on with our plots and we leave at the end of our plots what we wish to give away.. And anyone who is passing can pick it up and often leaves something in return the next time they come to garden. 

Ok now the weather show.  click to enlarge

Hailing in sheets, part of our back garden at home

Hail and it was soon white over the lawn. we had a few claps of thunder too. 

And this is how big were the hail stones

Well that’s the update for April. See you in May..

Happy Gardening!

~Sue~

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67 thoughts on “Protecting the Tomatoes from the cold

    • Hi Paul — Not much drier here, up the road in Dexter, OR (just south of Eugene) and I’ve been envious of sue and Hubby getting a head start on their planting over there in “merry Ole England!” But the weather can turn anytime, anywhere during this unpredictable spring season and It can even turn to Sunshine, so let’s hope we’ll get some more sustained sunshine soon!

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  1. Wow! We did not really get a full winter here in Northern Indiana this year, but I keep holding my breath thinking maybe we’ll have one more very cold blast in mid-June or something strange like that. I hope not. Everything’s blooming as growing. It’s felt like mid-May since February. Wild weather this year, indeed.

    Glad you’ve got such a good system for your tomatoes. I’m going to need to buy some dwarf tomato seedlings this year, as I was out of town when I would have started seeds. They’ll need to go in pots, so I can transplant them easily when we move in late June. It will be an odd gardening year to go with the odd weather. Meanwhile … asparagus! My goodness, there’s just nothing like it fresh from the garden. Big blessings and love, Laura

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  2. It’s amazing at how weather can be extremely different ….its summer here Sue…the heat is on…while its been raining and if actually freezing out there..

    at any rate I am to know your tomatoes are well taken cared. of..

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  3. Your Hubby is very clever to have thought of protecting the tomato plants like that. It is the kind of thing my Dad would do, he has very green fingers. The weather world wide has been a bit peculiar. Our weather has gone very cold too and it was really hot over the weekend. Happy gardening, Sue.

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    • Thank you Robbie just read out your comment to my Hubby he said thank you.. and yes the world weather is unstable.. but then man is having his hand in it.. So is it any wonder.. .. Thank you for dropping by the plot Robbie.. really appreciate it.. 🙂

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  4. We are finally getting some cold weather here in Tasmania and Brunhilda is doing her part in keeping that cold weather outside where it belongs. What a brilliant idea for the tomatoes. I am going to keep this link so that I can remember to do this in our Spring later on this year. Thank you for sharing Sue 🙂

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      • I never thought of using bubble wrap in our glasshouse and that should give us a bit of a tomato edge as we can’t get our tomatoes in till mid October here where the rest of Australia gets them in in late August early September. Last season we couldn’t get tomatoes in till mid December as the weather just wouldn’t quit. I will be using your hubbies idea this year as we inherited a stack of bubble wrap from a friend who was leaving the state and now I have a decent use for it. I was contemplating using it to insulate some of our windows (the ones in the spare rooms that we don’t use) from the inside. It works incredibly well in winter and summer to cut the suns heat or the cold air from both overheating and chilling your home but I think the tomato idea is better!

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        • Brilliant.. I know he will be pleased his idea has gone down under lol :-).. He is in the allotment as I type.. I am not 100% this morning so having a lazy catch up day on my blog.. 🙂 I don’t think I ever get used to your Seasons.. When we are growing colder you are super heating.. 🙂

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          • And vis versa, when you are starting to warm up we have snow in Tasmania all over again. I am glad we don’t get it here as although it’s pretty, it would mean less gardening potential and I like to make the most of my gardening potential (such as it is!) My sweet potatoes in a wicking bed are still going strong and so I am just going to leave them to overwinter in the bed. I might have to put something around them to protect them from possums when everything else edible has dropped it’s leaves but aside from that, it’s another interesting experiment and that is what makes gardening fun. I am sorry you aren’t feeling the best. I am off to a seed swap day today and a talk about growing winter veg. I haven’t ever grown winter veg before and I am going to give it a go this year. I have broad beans going mental and leggy in wicking beds as you probably shouldn’t plant them into something as rich as the soil that I planted them into but I guess they will toughen up one day! I might plant some spinach as I know that is a winter veg but I really have NO idea what is a winter veg and what isn’t so this talk today should be both enlightening and interesting. Steve is off to shave the top off the girls door in the city as it is sticking and put a new back door lock on as the key broke off in the old one. It never rains but it pours when it comes to doors (rhyme fully intended 😉 ) Have a lovely day Sue and I hope you feel better soon ❤ 🙂

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            • Curly Kale is good.. And Brussels sprouts 🙂 Winter Cabbage too… 😉 Parsnips.. Leeks… lots of good things for stews.. All can stand the cold.. Even our Rainbow chard stood over winter but it got a little woody.. So lots you can grow Fran.. Spinach I keep meaning to get.. But our Rainbow chard does just as well… Love the young leaves in salads too.. 🙂

              I went to bed in the afternoon Fran.. for two hours.. got up still off it.. very drained,, couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong.. But I hadn’t had a good nights sleep the previous night.. I still felt off it after early evening meal . So went back to bed at 7pm For two and a half hours.. then got up and did a bit of blog land for an hour and half… I then slept like a baby all night and feel fine today. Sometimes we just need to rest and listen to our bodies… Thank you for asking Fran.. Love and Hugs xxx Sue xxx

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            • People think that it’s only illness that can lay us low. There are many things that can affect us and that can make us feel out of sorts. I am glad you are feeling better and cheers for the list of veggies that will stand the cold. We don’t even get frosts here so most of that list should love it here over winter. I am going to have to start staking my broad beans and they are less than a month old as they have decided that lazing around on the job is the done thing around here and are predominately horizontal rather than the approved vertical version!

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            • Glad your broad beans are thriving Fran.. And good to know the list of veggies was useful and feeling much brighter now thankfully xxx 🙂 Must be the Spring Energies getting back into my veins .. 🙂

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            • You probably had ‘spring fever’. Now you are over it, you can get right into ‘spring cleaning’ and ‘allotment fever’ and be set up well for the summer 🙂

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            • As it was lovely to clear away cobwebs of daddy longleg spiders who thought that possession was nine tenths of the law! Steve had to shake the heck out of his winter jacket as daddly longlegs are harmless but the house spiders give a halfway decent nip! 😉

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    • Thank you Mark.. so pleased at last the WP gremlins all sorted.. My own gremlins seem to have sorted themselves too.. Just a few comment replies I do not get in my notifications now but I know who these are so I back track when I get their like to my comment.. 🙂
      Love the smell of good earth and new mown grass.. And Hay fields in the heat of Summer.. Bring back childhood memories of helping the farmer stack bails of hay.. The small rectangle ones not the huge round bails that weighs a ton of today 🙂

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        • I doubt several men could move one of those huge bails that are made my machine these days Mark.. I would go with my younger brother as our school friends were farmers Sons and daughters.. And would help they hay make.. The boys would help load the small bails and we girls would with big rakes help gather lots of the hay not taken up into piles . I remember my shins and ankles would get cuts from the sharp stalks of hay left sticking up.. We would all then secretly go and play in the barn on our farmers friends land.. We would have got into big trouble had he or our parents known.. We would make dens piling bales on top of each other.. crawling beneath.. Never giving a thought to the danger… When I think back if the stack had fell down it would have killed us all.. But We lived to tell the tale.. LOL 🙂

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  5. Bubble wrap! What a novel idea, and it’s pretty too, a bit like an iced-over window!

    Yes, the weather is very strange. it seems to be warming up here in ecuador, where coastal weather was mild, and 5,000 feet was chilly – and quito was cold… not it’s extremely hot on the coast, and the cloud forest gets pretty hot these days as well. perhaps it’s a cycle and will wean back to cooler, but for a year or more, it’s been ‘different.’

    hail! now that’s one that sneaks up and has the power to get instant attention!

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    • Yes it got our attention as it rattled hail on the windows Lisa.. 🙂 And no matter from which part of the world I speak to people this Season they are noticing a change in our climate… There was a program on TV the other day saying that nature’s Spring blooms are now blooming 4 weeks earlier than in the past.. So a definite warming up in the UK.. Then it fools them by plummeting back down to freezing again.. So I think world wide we are noticing our weather pattern changes.. ❤

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  6. Wow – thanks for sharing Sue. Spring has certainly been unpredictable all over the world this year. Minor damage in Arkansas from storms yesterday. The next round Friday to Sunday will be much worse. Did have some quarter size hail here yesterday. Your husband did such a great job protecting your plants. Nature does reclaim a garden area very fast if no one is caring for the area. Good luck on better weather Sue. xoxo 🙂

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    • Thanks Peggy… I know we have nothing to complain about here compared to the storms you get out there.. So we are very thankful..
      Glad the storm didn’t do too much damage and hope the one over the weekend passes you by.. And agreed you have to be one step ahead sometimes. Not always.. We lost our sweetcorn last year to frost and had to start again late.. We still had some but not as good or as many.. But that is gardening.. Some years you win some and some years you lose some.. 🙂 No two years ever the same.. Which is what I love.. As it keeps us on our toes..
      Much love to you too and hope you are getting your planting done now too..
      Hugs Sue ❤

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  7. Hi Sue, Very clever frost protection your Hubby created there with bubble wrap and laundry pegs. We call them “clothes pins” on this side of the pond, which probably sounds “funny” to you over there but these simple gadgets work for a multitude of situations calling for something to be pinned or pegged!
    It always amazes me how sturdy plants are — how primroses can survive for days under the snow and come out smiling; how daffodils and tulips can take a beating with wind, rain and hail and only bend halfway to the ground. But fruit trees and tomatoes can have all their blossoms damaged under such conditions and its fortunate you were able to respond to the weather forecast and take steps to protect your tomatoes. Onward we go!

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    • Thank you Alia… Yes onwards and forever forwards my friend.. 🙂 And I hope also that you too can get started with your planting and the weather improves..
      Yes I am always in awe of those delicate snowdrops who are always the first to push there way through the frozen Earth .. Showing us no matter how delicate looking we are.. The strength we have to reach up to that Light.. 🙂
      Much Love my friend 🙂 💐💚

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  8. Mother nature is moody sometimes and likes to make a mess of things. And then we have the kind side of mother nature which we should be grateful for.

    Take good care of those tomatoes and send a few though the wire. 💐

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  9. Your tomatoes are very well protected, Sue 🙂
    I have used bobble wrap for many things, but not in the garden. Thank you for that idea.
    While I lived in Denmark, we needed to be prepared, that there could be freezing until beginning of June. Difficult with many plants.
    Enjoy your gardening.

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  10. Sue, so glad you reminded me of Dreamwalker’s Garden. I am subscribed but not getting notifications. I see our weather is pretty similar. We just had a terrible hail storm, I’ve never experienced anything like it before. Actually checked all the windows in my house to see if any were damaged once it passed it was that vicious. We had lovely temps until then but since it’s been nothing but cold and rain with near freezing temps expected for the next two weeks at night.

    I love how inventive your hubby is. I have my tomatoes inside yet not willing to risk taking them outside to the beds.

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  11. I love the way your allotments run Sue, appears to be a great communal atmosphere around them, it shows when you leave left overs for people and they reciprocate.
    I find it quite surprising Sue the amount of time and effort you and your Husband put into your allotment, and yet you still find time to share on Word Press. You have a wonderful life Sue and well earned I believe.

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    • Thank you Ian.. They are a good bunch of people.. always willing to share plants etc.. 🙂 So a good communal atmosphere there ..
      Sometimes Ian I wonder too how I find the time.. LOL.. 🙂 haha.. Big Hugs your way Ian.. and Love to Ana.. xxx

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