Sunday, June 10, 2012

Garden 2012: Tomatoes On Parade

I was beginning to think that, for the first time in memory, we might not be planting tomatoes in our garden. My neighbor, Susana, had planted hers a good three weeks earlier and I'd been watched them gradually pop out of the tops of their protective teepees. Plus we'd been gone for a week at the beach, losing even more precious planting time.

I was somewhat comforted when the weather took a turn for the colder, followed a couple of days later by a horrendous hailstorm that blasted through the area, leaving pellet-sized residue a good half inch deep on the ground. So yesterday we downed some coffee and headed for our favorite neighborhood nursery, Garden Fever, hoping that they hadn't sold out of our favorite varieties.

The younger starts we normally plant in the spring had been replaced by larger, sturdier plants in gallon pots that were a bit more expensive, but we decided to pay the penalty for not planting earlier and bought six: two Cherokee purples and one each of green zebra, yellow pear, Sungold and red cherry. And with the weather for the coming week predicted to hover in the 60s and 70s, and consequent warmer nights bringing the soil temperature up to the desired 60 degrees, we also invested in pepper starts: two Jimmy Nardellos, two pasillas and a Melrose.

With those and a six-pack of lacinato, we bought, we came home, we planted. Add in the tiny leafy greens, carrots and herbs in the raised beds and the pea shoots climbing up the fence behind them, and we're pretty much done for the time being. Now to sit back and pray for nice balance of sun and rain for the duration!

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