Saturday, August 27, 2011

Batten Down the Hatches

Yesterday I spent a little time in the garden in hopes of keeping my plants upright during Irene. Irene will probably not be a hurricane when it hits (there still is a chance), but the forecasters think maybe we will get 50-60 mph winds. That is enough to damage the garden.

There isn't a lot I can do with my walls of green. The beans are seven feet tall and a fairly solid mass. I've found that toward the path they have been starting to lean into the bed. This is because the pole inside the bed tends to work its way farther down into the soil as the soil is fairly loose, but the soil outside of the bed is the path and gets compacted. So that pole can't work down. So slowly over time the trellis has started leaning into the bed at the end. The other end doesn't get walked on as much and seems to be fine.

So I put up a few more supports at that part of the trellis. As you can see I put two metal t-posts to hold it up here. I put one on another trellis that wasn't as bad. This one is the worst. The beans here are very very heavy. The runner beans really put on a huge amount of mass over time. I hope the trellises can survive the winds. I'm not too optimistic however. So I did a good picking of the dry beans. Any that had started drying came off, but there are a lot of very green beans in there. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Then I tied up the peppers and the eggplants. They all have bamboo stakes near them and some have a lot of heavy fruit still hanging on them. The winds could tear the branches right off even with the ties I put in, but it is the best I can do.

Wish me luck. Irene hits on Sunday and will be all gone by Monday.


  1. I spent most of the day yesterday getting ready too! We are also expecting 50-60 mph winds and lots and lots of rain! I will be very surprised if my bean teepee is still standing at the plots! I went over last night and picked all the beans I could and some other veggies too. Hopefully all this rain won't kill the newly planted brocolli and cauliflower. Stay safe!

  2. I'll be thinking about you! Sam changed his flights to fly back yesterday instead of today since he was worried about the weather impacting his DC connection. I think he made a smart choice.

  3. Sounds like you have done the most that you can and it is now just up to Irene to decide the fate of the garden. I hope she is kind and just gives it a good soaking.

  4. I feel for all of you in Irene's path. I don't think there is much I can do and we too may get 50MPH winds. I know it will do my corn in. Not sure about the tomatoes. They are caged and staked but are just now getting heavy with fruit. What else can happen to this gardening year? Good luck to all I think we may need it.

  5. i hope it doesn't hit you too hard. i'm sure the winds will be crazy strong but they might not be as damaging as you think. last year we had a freak storm that included a night of winds up to 68mph, and i was terrified to look at my garden the next day, but the worst thing that happened was it flattened an enormous tomato plant and bent its cage. some of my pole peas were damaged and some container plants blew over. but despite trees being uprooted all around the city and all kinds of damage going on, the garden pulled through.

  6. It seems my tomatoes just aren't meant to be this year, first the blossom end rot (that is gone now) and now all the branches are laden with very large, very green tomatoes that most likely won't handle the winds. The weather is saying that most of the storm will be west of us (we're in Newton) but still pack a wallop. Ugh.

  7. Wishing you all sorts of good luck! When we had 60 mph winds in 2008, it took out a big maple tree but didn't hurt the tomatoes at all! It actually knocked the plants down, but that's probably what saved all the fruits.

  8. Good Luck. I hope Irene doesn't do too mach damage!

  9. We spent yesterday and this morning preparing for Irene. All we can do now is wait and hope. Stay safe!

  10. I don't know what I could do to get my garden ready for a hurricane, even the remnants of one. When what was left of Ike came through here in 2008, it blew all our apples off the trees AND uprooted a large blueberry bush. Mind you, in southern IN we were quite some distance from where Ike made landfall. The sustained winds were still bad enough at that point to do lots of damage. Fortunately we were spared the rain. It will be interesting to see how everyone's garden does. Sounds like you did about all you can do!

  11. Good luck.

    I'm at sea level and worried about the storm surge, Pretty please, Irene, arrive at low tide.

  12. We worked our way through the yard today to collect and put away all the summer things that could blow around. The garden was harvested as much as it could be. There isn't a lot I can do to secure things any more than they are.

    I hope you and your garden escape harm.

  13. good luck to everyone I hope all your gardens survive

  14. GOOD LUCK! I really hope it doesn´t hit so bad and that You and Your garden will be OK!!! Mia

  15. Robin, I've been watching the forecasts here. It looks like we may have a maximum of 50mph, but the NHC says we still have a 10-20% chance of hurricane force winds. I hope it is less, but you never know.

    Karen, that was smart. I have some friends that were supposed to get in yesterday. I hope their flight made it because everything is shut down today even the T.

    Laura, me too. So far we have had 2 inches of rain. It is just south of us right now.

    wilderness, my corn was already done. So sad. Don't ask what else can happen. It just might.

    Emily, I'm hoping my garden is semi protected with all the houses around here, but sometimes the tall houses close together focus the wind and don't block it. This is the first major wind storm with the garden so I'll find out how the wind goes.

    Marlene, Oh dear. I hope they pull through. My friend was emailing me about his tomatoes. I told him to pick any that had a blush. The others might fall off anyway, but at least those have been saved.

    Granny, I think the tomatoes are better off than my beans. The tomatoes are only about 5' tall. The beans will act as a windbreak for them unless the beans fall.

    Mrs. Pickles, thanks.

    The Sage Butterfly, yesterday morning we brought in all the things like the BBQ Grill. I can only hope what is left is fine.

    villager, I'm just hoping for wind and rain, but not too much of either. It looks like the southern shores of New England will get some hurricane force winds, but not us. Still a chance though.

    Karen Anne, I hope you survive OK. I'm far enough away from the shore that I won't have an issue.

    GrafixMuse, I hope yours is fine too. I'm thinking you are far enough north that you will be fine though.

    Vanessa, thanks

    Mias, thanks

  16. Stay safe, hope your garden escape storm damage.