Are the monsoons here early?

Are the monsoons here early? Historically, in my 28 years here in Santa Fe, the monsoons have traditionally started after July 4th weekend thru the second week of July. But last year and this year the weather people are saying it comes in around June 15th. Did things change? If so, I’m a happy camper cause we really need the moisture.


Plus I can take off the row covers off my tomato cages as the dreaded beet leafhopper should be leaving soon. But I don’t do that with the first rain which we got here yesterday. I wait a few days-like maybe after this weekend if the weather pattern holds up. We got .4″ of rain which is great. 

So if the monsoon pattern doesn’t peter out, and we get a little rain for next week and the monsoon pattern holds, I will be taking the row covers off my tomato plants. I haven’t seen my tomatoes since late May. Row cover is put completely around and over the cages to keep the beet leafhopper from physically getting to the tomato plants and biting the plant-no insecticides work. They transmit a fatal virus-Curly Top Virus (CTV) to tomatoes. One extra step we have to go through to get tomatoes out here in the southwest. The bug either gets suppressed or leaves town when the rains come as it prefers dry, hot windy conditions which we’ve had. Who knows? Maybe they will move to Texas.


Also with the rain, the temperatures should come down and blossom drop will stop too. Tomato blossom drop occurs at 92°F + when it  gets too hot for the plant to set fruit. So if you’ve seen blossoms dropping don’t worry-your tomatoes will continue to make blossoms the whole season. But after it sets fruit, higher temperatures are ok. It’s just during higher heat when they are self-pollinating that they drop their blossoms. They need below 92°F to set the fruit. Another bonus. Ah rain!


Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays everyone! Some of you have snow this Christmas but not here in Santa Fe. We are bone dry here this year and looking for some moisture. So I thought you could enjoy the snow pattern on the blog. Be sure to water your trees and perennial plants soon before it gets bitter cold again. We tend to forget to water them and not doing so really stresses them.

I’m embarrassed to say I’m not even done with cleaning out my big garden yet. Arrgh! I did pull all the tomato and other veggie plants out of the ground and the cages as well before the ground freezes. They are laying all over the place in the garden. At least they won’t be frozen in the ground. So I’ve started cleaning out the cages of tomato vines, storing the cages and loading up the trailer to go to the dump. I put all tomato plant debris and squash debris in the trailer because they are so prone to diseases and I don’t want to put diseased plants in my composting piles. All healthy plants do however go into the compost pile. Hope to have it done in the next 2 weeks.

Mostly I’ve read some gardening books this winter-nice time to catch up on reading. We should all enjoy our time off in the garden and use it to rejuice us so we are ready to garden by spring. Hope you have a fantastic holiday whatever you celebrate!