I spotted them before the end of May, itsy-bitsy tomatoes have set on the cherry tomato plants that I started from seeds. The whole process started while the snow was on the ground in January and I have babied them along, periodically transferring them to larger and larger pots.
I finally unloaded, err passed out, err donated the last of the plants. This was after I had planted 27 of them into my garden. I had planted the 2 early batches in 5-block-pods with the plastic cover that can be lifted around them when the cool fall weather starts.
The rest are in a line of tires. The tires help gather warmth during the daylight hours and holds the warmth into the evenings.
A few plants in both the pods and in the tires have the small tomatoes forming.
When bragging to a friend about my line of tires all planted and showing this picture, I was asked how I could be eating veggies out of the garden when all it looks like I am growing is a bunch of sticks with seed packets on them. I gently pointed out that this is the second section of garden, the first section is where I have my cooler weather plants already growing. That is the greens, lettuce varieties, radishes, peas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.
Living in the Coast Range of the Pacific Northwest provides us with a lot of opportunities. Growing tomatoes is not one of them.
We are a little cooler up here than the Willamette Valley. Sitting between two hills makes for slightly shorter days with the sun a few minutes later to rise and a few minutes earlier to set each day. Positioned close to the Nehalem River creates more moisture during those long summer days giving the fruit a greater chance to mold or rot. We are about 2 weeks later to have crops ripen and sometimes months ahead of getting the first frost of the season. Continue reading
My little tray of seedling tomatoes are cramped and it is time to transfer them to larger pots so they can develop strong roots.
So far, they have spent their days hugging the window sill in the garage and straining for true sunlight.
The weather has finally warmed to 50 degrees during the day. Once they are packed into the larger pots, I will move them outside during the days and back inside for the cooler nights.
These plants are very tender and bruise easily. Likewise, heavy rain can break the stems if a hard shower pelts them.
They will get stronger as the outside breeze challenges the slender stems.
Between snow showers and more rain than I am comfortable with, dreams of the garden are taking shape. We have been working on the pruning and the necessary cleanup of all the limbs, and I started the tomato seeds.
The tomatoes are totally unnecessary, I know that I could go out and buy tomato plants from the local nurseries for about $2 each when the time is ready to plant. But my mind tells me that I need to start a few of my own for a couple of reasons. 1. I can do it. and 2. There can never be too many tomatoes in the garden.
My little seedlings are just about ready to break out their second set of leaves while outside their window another new coating of snow covers the yard and pasture.
I’m waiting for a day with temps above 45 degrees to transplant the little seedlings to 4 inch pots. I may be waiting another week for that project.
Make salsa while the sun shines.
That has been my motto this year. The tomatoes have been producing and producing and producing. There have been very few days since the first week of July when a tub of salsa couldn’t be found in the fridge.
Don’t even think about asking me for the recipe.
It changes with my mood and the availability of peppers, tomatillos, onions, and even squash. I throw it all in the chopper and ta-da, SALSA!
I’m going to miss this fresh staple when the season finally winds down.
We had some visitors to the farm from Washington State recently and we were gifted with a delicious bottle of Merlot! It is not necessary to bring gifts when you visit, but it is sure sweet when we get such a surprise. Continue reading