If I want to see any delicious tomatoes this summer, it is now time to start thinking about getting the seeds germinated. I go goofy over those cherry tomatoes, fresh from the plant, dried in the dehydrator, frozen on cookie sheets, mixed into pasta dishes and winter stews, I just can’t seem to get enough of them. Except for last year, I was over-exuberant with the number of plants. I had seeds germinating in several trays, kept giving away plants in 4 inch and later, gallon pots and still planted two rows of tomatoes in tires totaling more than two dozen plants.
Once they started producing, I could not give the tomatoes away fast enough. I hauled boxes and bags of the fruit with me to distribute when I went to town. I doled out lots of them and inundated the local Senior Center with still more. I flagged down the mail carrier, UPS and FedEx. I passed them to strangers that happened to stop at the farm when they wandered up the county road lost. I sent out an SOS to all neighbors. And still I could not keep up with the plants.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to germinate and coax the seedlings along until I can plant them into the garden. You will see them set outside each day the temperature is above 50 degrees and pulled inside before the sun dips on the horizon. I will nurture and downright beg the plants to grow healthy and strong as I transplant them from one inch seedlings, to plants in 4 inch pots, to gallon sized teenagers. I will water and trim and stake them up so they grow strong and abundant in their garden row.
I will however only germinate six seeds, make that eight (just in case I lose one or two)…OK maybe I’ll germinate a dozen but that is the limit. Unless I find a seed packet with exceptional larger sized sweet fruit. Or a new variety calls my name or the local nursery puts plants on sale.