As you move into Fall and your plants are still producing lots of vegetables you need to be aware of the weather forecasts and rain. The rain can destroy your tomatoes and other vegetables causing them to split and be susceptible to diseases.
In this article, we will discuss your options to protect your vegetables from Fall weather that can destroy your tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables and fruit.
How to Protect Your Vegetables from the Rain
If you have enough warning (several days) you can remove leaves and flower buds to send energy from the plant to ripen the fruit quickly so that you can harvest before the rain arrives.
If your vegetables like tomatoes are close to being ripe you can harvest them and bring them indoors to continue to ripen. For tomatoes depending on how far along they are will depend on how you can ripen them indoors.
The first option for tomatoes that are slightly red is to place them on the counter or somewhere to get indirect sunlight placing them stem side down to continue to ripen.
If the tomatoes are a lighter greenish color and turning white they are far enough along to harvest and still ripen indoors by placing them stem side down (do not have more than one layer) in a cool location out of direct sunlight to continue to ripen.
You can place an apple or banana near them to enhance the ripening process, the gas produced by this fruit is ethene which causes other fruit to ripen.
If you want to leave your vegetables on the plant to weather the pending rain you will need to cover them to keep them from splitting. Also, you need to eliminate watering the fruit prior to the storm since they will be well watered depending on the amount of pending rain.
There are many ways to cover the plants some of them are more simple and others will take a little effort. If you have shade cloth that was used to protect fruit and vegetables from the sun you can secure it over the plants to keep the rain from directly landing on the vegetables.
Another option is to use a sheet of clear plastic that can be secured over the plants being sure to secure it down so that the wind does not blow it off the plants.
If you are going to receive heavy rainfall you should not only protect the fruit on the plants but also cover the area where the roots are since this excess water will be absorbed by the plants and cause the fruit to split.
For an out-of-the-box idea that I have seen people use but have not done myself. You can use an umbrella to cover the plants attaching it to the cage you have on the plant to keep most of the rain off the vegetables.
If the plants are smaller such as pepper plants you can take a large pot and place it over the top of the plant, be sure to remove the pot as soon as the rain ends since the plants need sunlight to continue to grow and ripen the fruit.
If you have your garden plants in containers you can place them under cover to protect them.
Fruit and Vegetables impacted by heavy Fall Rain
Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, Strawberries, Grapes, Melons, Lettuce
If you are a seed collector for flowers and some vegetables it is important to harvest any flower heads that are ready before these Fall rains occur since these rains can cause flower heads to become diseased or drop if you wait to harvest them.
Remember that these storms do not mean that warm sunny weather has ended for your area and that you may have many days of sun-ripening weather still ahead of you.
The Fall is an important time of the year to be watching the weather forecasts since there might be rain, wind, and even frost in the days ahead that you will need to protect your garden to allow you to continue to extend your garden harvest.
Now that you know How to Protect your Vegetables from the Rain and other weather conditions to extend your garden season I hope you have a bountiful harvest into Fall and maybe even early Winter.