Then came May with no rain. This is worrisome for a couple of reasons. One is that seedlings with their fragile root systems will be quick to succumb to the dry soil. It leaves me debating how to use the rainwater collected in our tanks - on unsprouted seeds or on growing plants? If I leave the seeds to wait for the rain, I worry that birds may find and devour the seeds in the meantime.
|The tomato rows looked pretty bare in early June.|
The arrival of June finally brought rain, and everything took off. Every day I was out in the garden looking for tomato seedlings, only to be disappointed that there were none. I finally decided that the seed was either bad, or had otherwise been lost, so I went to the feed store to buy plants. Being late in the tomato planting season I got a bargain - two for the price of one. I bought two 6-packs of seedlings, got two free, and ended up with 24 new plants. They wouldn't be home started but at least I'd have tomatoes.
I decided to plant them in the rows I'd previously prepared for tomatoes. I set about removing grass, morning glories, and a few other unwanteds when what did I find?
|Tomatoes at last.|
Yup, tomato seedlings. Finally, they were making their debut.
I cleared out everything but the marigolds (they can stay) to give them some room and planted my store-boughts in the next set of rows.
|Little tomato plants with larger volunteer marigolds. |
All of this put me a month behind on my tomatoes.
Now it looks like I should have plenty of tomatoes, which is okay because there are a lot of things to do with tomatoes. Pizza sauce is my priority, followed by tomato soup, and green tomato slices for frying come winter. After that it's plain canned tomatoes for soups and stews. Too many tomatoes? Never. Wouldn't you agree?