Tomato Time

Today’s our first grey day in many weeks. The plants and grass, in particular, are shouting for joy.

My wonderful and very generous neighbor, Deb, contacted me to say if we wouldn’t mind climbing a ladder to come help ourselves; their Bing and Queen Anne cherry trees needed to be picked or fruit would go to waste. We jumped at this. We are Pickers after all! Many more pounds of cherries are chilling out in my kitchen now, and I’m gathering the energy to begin pitting again.

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About a week ago I began chronicling the progress of our tomato plants. Again this year, I’m growing all in big pots in the greenhouse, and on chillier days like today, that makes a lot of sense.

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I’ve been transplanting seedlings into larger pots in stages in an attempt to extend the tomato harvest. This year’s varieties are Early Girl, Lemon Boy, Yellow Pear, and Ten Fingers of Naples. Most I started from seed.

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I just transplanted the last seedlings of Ten Fingers of Naples into their large pot two weeks ago. This variety is from Baker Creek heirloom seeds, and promises oblong, slightly pointy Roma style tomatoes. I couldn’t resist the name since I have such great memories of living in the Naples area from 1998-2000.

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I’m growing a couple pots of peppers again — bells and jalapeños — and they’re doing well.

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Also growing well in our greenhouse are volunteer pink peony poppies. They come up in the gravel, remnants of years ago, and cheerfully greet me when I open the greenhouse doors. Other pink flowers of mention blooming at Coppertop ahead of schedule are these gladioli. This variety is called “Fiorentina.” I must be in an Italy state of mind!

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4 thoughts on “Tomato Time

    • Good to hear from you, Cynthia! I think our greenhouse is instrumental in our growing success. This is my first time with a greenhouse and it’s opened new possibilities in gardening. The veggie and flower seed starts stay warmer and protected through the winter/early spring. (The garden shed doesn’t get the light needed even with its skylights, so we’re able to use less supplemental light in the greenhouse.) I get great joy starting plants from seed — such variety and easy gratification! Also, since we are at 1200 feet elevation and our summer nights dip down into the 40s, the tomato plants are protected and get the added boost of warmth they love. Virtually no weeding and much less soil-borne disease!

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      • It sounds wonderfully useful and extends the gardening season while protecting from cold night temperatures.
        Are the heating bills very high? I ask these questions because I have wanted a greenhouse for aeons.

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        • Just seeing this today, Cynthia, and am sorry for the delay in replying. I didn’t notice an increase in our bills, BUT it was our first full winter in this home, so I have very little to compare to. You are north of me, so I’m not sure how frequently your heater would click on — we get very little snow and our maritime climate is relatively mild. If you consider the added joy of growing your own flowers and veg, then I think it must be cost effective! Besides providing our family and the foodbank with food, this gardening thing is my major hobby, and I love the way the greenhouse encourages 4-season immersion!

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