Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

We've had rain here in Newport News for the past week. I'm talking lots of rain. Morning, noon, night.

The rain has been a bad thing and a good thing. I'll start with the bad. My last few precious tomatoes from a generally measly summer crop were ripening on the vine last week. I was hoping for one last harvest. Then the rain moved in. It split the skins of my Black from Tulas and they quickly went downhill from there. See for yourself.

Black from Tula tomatoes after a week of relentless rain.
The rain brought somewhat cooler temps for a day or two, but then the temps climbed back into the 80s as the rain continued to fall. The warm, wet conditions weren't great for the tomatoes, but it was ideal for MUSHROOMS. I woke up last Friday morning and there were mushrooms as far as the eye could see!  I'm talking hundreds, if not thousands, of mushrooms in my backyard.

Cluster of small tan mushrooms in the garden.
There seemed to be two different varieties of mushrooms, and it was interesting to note that they grew wherever I had spread wood mulch earlier in the spring. I guess the wood chips contained the spores even before I spread them in the yard, or the spores found the moist wood mulch an ideal environment for growing. Either way, .09 Acres turned into a mushroom farm overnight. I don't know much about mushrooms, but I wasn't taking any culinary chances. I took my cues from my dogs and the neighborhood wildlife. Since they wouldn't eat them, I wouldn't either. There were so many mushrooms that even the resident Smurf population had a hard time navigating their way around .09 Acres.

Papa Smurf navigating his way around a morass of rogue mushrooms.
Rotten tomatoes and a plethora of mushrooms were two ill-effects of constant rain. But the upside of all that moisture was ideal seed-starting conditions. Before the rain, I planted a variety of seeds including broccoli, kale, beets, carrots, onions, Swiss chard, spinach, and lettuce.  Almost all of the seeds germinated, and I'll provide a detailed update about my fall garden in an upcoming blog post.  

Stay dry and keep your fingers crossed for cooler weather.


Brandie said...

Man, do I know what you mean. I'm so sick of feeling soggy. The hardwood floors in my house are actually starting to buckle from the humidity.

Where did you get your Black from Tula seeds? I read about that tomato somewhere and wanted to try it.

.09 Acres said...

Bummer about your hardwood floors! I don't remember where I got my original Black from Tula seeds, but I have been saving them from year-to-year for the past 4 years. If you want, I can mail you some seeds. E-mail me using the e-mail address at the bottom of the main blog page.

What Pigs Don't Know said...

Papa Smurf! I didn't realize how much I missed him until I saw this picture! Thanks! Amazing fig tree, by the way... -Carrie