It’s raining again…

I think too much rain killed this young winter melon plant :(

Oh no, it’s raining again! And it looks like we’re in for a rainy spell. On the one hand, it’s nice to have the cooler, breezy weather, and not to have to worry about watering the plants. On the other hand, some plants don’t like too much rain.

Take my ill-fated first round of winter melon plants. I managed to grow 3 plants from the seeds from Novice Gardener. One of them became a meal for a pair of hairy caterpillars (darn things came out at night and I didn’t see them until it was too late :( ). The other pair grew quite well in little pots and I planted them out at a spanking-new trellis with compost-amended soil, expecting them to thrive. I had even scattered a decent amount of snail bait around to protect them. However, I didn’t count on the weather. The day after I planted them out, the rainy spell began. It rained every single day – sometimes at night, other times during the day. The bigger of the plants didn’t like it, and the base of its stem started turning brown and shrivelling slowly, and it literally keeled over and died. I have my fingers crossed that the other plant will be able to weather it out (pun intended) and keep growing.

Too much rain also raises the likelihood that my okra plants are going to suffer from powdery mildew. After growing the plants in such close proximity last year and having them afflicted by the mildew, I took pains this year to spread them out to increase the air circulation. However, the combination of wet weather and our high humidity means the mildew is more or less inevitable.

Roselle seedlings sprouting from the seeds left in the plant calyces and thanks to the wet weather

I hope my other edible plants won’t be badly affected by the rain. The other veggies currently in “production” are the angled loofah, cucumber, bittergourd, long bean and brinjal plants. And of course I’m concerned for my Red Lady papaya trees that are in full swing now, because papaya trees don’t like having “wet feet”.

On the bright side, maybe my winged bean plants will prove whether or not the rain really has any bearing on their bean production. And, I can start growing plants that like wet, cooler weather. I’ve been holding on to seeds for broccoli, snow peas, beans and salad leaves that I didn’t expect to thrive in our warmer, drier (but still humid) months. It would be fantastic to see them grow to their full potential! Perhaps they will be a silver lining during these damp, dark days.

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It’s raining again… — 5 Comments

  1. What I did when it rained too much or too often, esp. for new transplants, I cover them with plastic. It helped somewhat in that the rain did not fall directly onto the poor things. For taller plants, I placed plastic over stakes, like an umbrella. Don’t know if it will work for u. Most of my plants are set within tree rings. Tree rings encircle the hole that I dug prior to planting and filled with amended soil. Native soil where I am is extremely clayey.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Miki. I usually protect young seedlings with the top half of recycled plastic bottles (I call them bottle-protectors) as you can remove the bottle cap to allow air in and out, and they give good protection from pelting rain. However in this case, it was a matter of too much water in the soil. It rained so heavily so frequently that the soil was water-logged, and I guess the winter melon plant didn’t like it. Thankfully it seems to be easing to passing showers for the next few days, and the other winter melon plant seems alright. *fingers crossed*

  2. Gee! Thanks for the bottle remedy idea. I think is great and will certainly put this to use sometime for little plants. Besides for using during the sometimes unrelenting rain, it’s excellent, too, for keeping pests away from seedlings. I know they’d get to them somehow, but this way, they gotta work a lot harder for their meals! Tks, again.

    • Oh, if you’re using this for pests then you can fit on a piece of netting to cover the hole. It works perfectly against snails.

      The only thing about using the bottle-protectors is they retain a lot of heat and can steam/broil your young plants. Experiment with different sizes and heights and see what suits your needs. Cheers!

  3. Tks for the xtra advice. Mmmm, steam/broil veggies, how much more green can we get? I don’t know exactly how many kinds of pests that attack my plants. I know for sure there are these ugly, green, fat, caterpillar-looking things that eat off all the leaves in one feeding! They camouflage so well, it is extremely difficult to hand-pick them off. These attacks hv often times, make me want to give up yarding …. Later,