tomato roulette

This is the time for us Michiganders to start looking forward to gardening overdose. Winter’s really dead. Hail to Dorothy! In our particular corner of the world I can feel the life waiting to bust out and run.

But it’s a dangerous time for zealots. With 10 day forecasts, it’s not quite as dangerous as in earlier decades, but you can still get bit. (See ‘Me, This Year’). That’s why I believe the hardest part of gardening isn’t planting. It’s not planting. The flowers are bursting, the thermometer says yay, and tomorrow all your plants are pale and drooping.

Especially with the warm-weather stuff like tomatoes and peppers, I theorize that you might actuallyΒ gain on your time to first fruit by waiting those extra couple of days or weeks. Tomato plants definitely weaken and regress for a bit when they’re subjected to too-early planting.

That being said, there’s a little thrill in playing the odds with a plant or two, and crossing your fingers for a surprising warm spell. If tragedy strikes, I’m ready to lose one or two plants and also willing to pull ruthlessly and start over with a couple of backups.

It’s an intricate dance here in the upper Midwest; wait too long and the tomato crop hangs there in its greenness come the chilly nights of late September. Jump the gun and you have to replant, risking the same or worse.


put me in coach

You take your thrills where you can get them.


8 thoughts on “tomato roulette

  1. “The hardest part of gardening isn’t planting. It’s not planting”. Wise words. I’m still learning this lesson. Just this spring I put my gorgeous lemon tree out thinking the cold was past us and then left for a week to go to Florida. Needless to say Charlotte had a cold snap while we were away and I lost all the baby lemons but for one. At least the tree is still alive. Sigh.

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  2. Self control is tough enough but when it’s tomato planting I’m waiting for it’s especially hard. The garden centers already have racks of plants on display but I have yet to see one sign saying “Don’t plant these yet!”

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    • I know Julie, they are. A bad tomato season is a real downer, but I always start thinking about next year when that happens πŸ™‚


  3. You have posted the thoughts we are all sharing… Here in the UK I have in my mind that old adage..don’t cast a clout till May is out! My cherry toms in the poly are still small , about 4 inches. I also like to grow Alicante but I sowed them late and they have only just germinated, so yesterday I bought a couple about 8 inches tall, so hopefully these will get me started!
    I put my butternuts outside under cloches , I am thinking now that they could be at risk if I dont watch out for Jack Frost… A row of French beans have already copped it!
    The deception is that we are getting some high temperatures during some cloud free days, but cloud free nights spell frosts!!πŸ…πŸ’šπŸ‘’πŸ’šπŸ…

    Liked by 1 person

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