Summer ends early in the Poconos

It is July 24, a nice sunny day, and it is currently 72° in Dingman's, where I am at the moment. Two years ago, I brought my daughter to a swim meet in early August, and the temperature when we arrived at the pool was in the 40s. Summer is begins to wind down here in late July!

This is been a problem whenever I've tried to grow the most heat-loving crops out here. Tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are all just starting to ripen when the August cooldown kicks in, and stops them in their tracks. They sit there on the plant doing nothing for six or seven weeks until the first frost kills them.


  1. This has far more to do with light cycles than heat cycles.

    In our neck of the woods (OH/PA), it's hard to get a plant to flower and then produce correctly if it's photoperiodic period is unaligned with the region, so you must pick your particular strains carefully. We generally get the *great* trigger for plants to begin flowering in these parts (the change in solar cycles toward the positive), but the plants don't get the energy required for a healthy fruit in order for it to ripen, the cold takes them out first.

    I'm sure that there are other plants that can flourish on your property, in fact I know this to be true.

    1. Absolutely: I've done well with cucumbers. This summer I'm growing Yellow squash, And have so much that I'm telling my kids We're going to eat Squash bread, and squash soup, and squash salad. And of course the more cold hardy vegetables do great here: lettuce, kale, chard, spinach.

      But I'm a little skeptical about your light thesis: We are not really very far north of Brooklyn, Where people grow tomatoes and eggplant and peppers quite well.

    2. Well, there are obviously other conditions (soil, pH, hydration) that come into play. But I just think that you may have the wrong strain for your region.

      For tomatoes, try the Branywine strain (also called Sudduth). Eggplants need a longer season for the most part, so I can't help you there. As for peppers, I never knew anybody that grew peppers successfully but my grandfather (in Ohio, no less) and people that I met in SoCal.

      Your problem seems to be with nightshades. These aren't easy plants to grow, you need long flowering periods, which means conditions conducive to flowering (less variation in night/dark differentiation and longer periods between frosts). Considering this, you must seek out particular strains that do well in northern conditions.

      Out of these three, I'd be willing to bet that is was the tomatoes that faired the best.

  2. Sorry, that should be "solar patterns", not "solar cycles". It's a small correction, mainly for all of the "helios" out there who might object.