February 26th, 2012. The tomato plants that spent the year giving us over 100 pounds of tomatoes…
February 23rd, 2014. The tomato plants I’ve started for this year…
Tomatoes could conceivably go into the ground in a week, and those babies are likely to be a tasty snack for a snail before they reach any size large enough to fend off attackers.
So DH and I are headed to The Natural Gardener today for a few things:
*Pepper plants, because they’re just as far behind
*Drip irrigation! (Maybe, if I can decide how many whatchamathings, dohickeys, and such to arrange)
*Soil food, as both of my compost piles are still cooking.
But in a few ways, I’m ahead of the game this year. I sowed the first round of beans yesterday. Some Tiger Eye and Yin Yang (soup beans) and some Soleil (green). Hopefully being two weeks early on 2012 sowings won’t be too much of a risk, but the extended forecast has some rain, a lot of sun in the 60s and 70s, and nothing lower than 40s at night.
Looking back at posts and photos from 2012, I find myself missing the extra 400 square feet I had that year. My three new beds this year will help scratch that itch some, and DH is talking about building a potato tower as well. I’m glad I ventured into a community garden plot, and depending on the timeline of when we move next and the space we move into, I may join one (a different one) again in the future. For now though, I’ll enjoy the isolation, the quiet, and the energy only from the sun and soil – enjoying my time away from the noise of others’ thoughts.
And then behind again, as I thought I’d posted this last Sunday.
We picked up everything except the peppers, which weren’t in stock yet (but are at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow!) The irrigation has been installed, and the weather forecast checked again so the tomatoes went in last Sunday.
Nursey tomatoes are usually varieties I know little about, or am not sure actually work well where I am. Beefsteaks explode in the heat before they ripen, for example, and Brandywines need cooler temperature to set fruit than we have by the time they bloom.
These are both new-to-me varieites of Valley Girl on the left and Homestead #24 on the right.
And then the forecasters did what they do and changed their minds. 30 degrees Tuesday night. DH had also moved Bill the Lime Tree outside on the word of the forecasters, so Bill and the tomatoes shared a tarp Tuesday night and were no worse for the wear. In fact, the six inches of rain overnight the following evening really perked those tomatoes up!
We picked up some other tomatoes as well, that I’ll plant this weekend when it’s back to 80 degrees.
And in the meantime, the winter greens are trucking along come dry or high temperatures.
Yeah!! My seedlings look a lot like yours, and are still in the kitchen, far away from being ready to be planted. Perhaps sometime after St. Patty’s Day, I’ll settle them into their dirt beds. I’m looking forward to buying a couple of Roma varieties that are further along. I want to can this year.
As for soil, I just stole 20 bags off the curb last Monday. My first keyhole garden is officially under construction. Hopefully we won’t get a drought again, but if we do, I’ll be ready.
PS — Hope that little bun is bigger than those maters.
DH stole a bunch of good leaves off the curb for my new beds! I just ran out of fully cooked compost already.
This little bun is trucking right along 🙂 Already head down months early and big enough to kick my ribs while it punches my hips. Makes me laugh every time.
I’m a little envious of your early plantings. I won’t start my tomato seed until next week and they can’t go into the ground until the end of May when they get planted into our summer garden in Maine. The biggest difference I see in our plantings are that before my tomatoes go into the ground they will be almost 30 inches tall. Of course, I will take off the bottom branches and plant them deep so they won’t be that tall once planted.
These little guys won’t go in so small. They’d be eaten by snails overnight for sure. I’ll get them about 4″ tall, plant them up to their necks in bigger pots, get them about 6″ tall and plant them to their necks outside. They just are growing so much slower this winter than two years ago!
Isn’t it funny how we grow so differently where we are and yet so much the same…I keep transplanting like you do. I try to slow my growth down until I can take my plants to Maine to put in my garden because I can’t let them get taller than the height allowance I have in my car but I only have 130 days for my growing season.
I love the pictures you posted before of the tomatoes taking their road trip! We all do what we can to make it work 🙂
I’m still a couple of weeks from starting seeds…sometimes I miss gardening in the South!
Then I remember August… 🙂
Exactly! All of the early start is to try and beat August (and some years, July.) I miss northern Augusts…
Everything looks so great! We’re still under a foot of snow here 😦 I was thinking about starting some seedlings in the house, but I think I’ll just wait and plant directly in the garden. I don’t have any special lights to help them grow and my basement is probably too dark and cold. If I put them by the large window upstairs, I just know the kids will end up destroying them!
It took many years of practice to figure out how to keep my seed trays in the front window AND safe from our cat and dog. Hopefully all of your snow is freezing out the bad bug larvae underground and you’ll have a prosperous year!
every year is different isn’t it?! some years I seem to sow too early and then spend ages waiting for it to be warm enough outside and things like tomatoes get leggy, then other years (this one!!) I haven’t sown any yet so like you I will probably make a trip to the garden centre and pick some plants up.
your winter greens bed is looking lush too
And I thought my cosmos were about to bloom…and they did not enjoy the freeze last night. Hopefully they jump back!
How envious I am of you being able to set out tomatoes already! I’ve got about a month to go.
I was a little ambitious, they’ve spent more than two days under a tarp since then for unforecasted frosts. Hopefully they don’t turn into my chard debacle…