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 actually 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.
You take your thrills where you can get them.