Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I think our local Wal-Mart was being overly optimistic when they put out a rack of tomato plants. As they became frost damaged, the price became 50 cents apiece and my friend and I were lucky enough to happen upon them on one of our infrequent trips to town. (We are over 50 miles away from the nearest big town with a Wal-Mart.) I took them home and set them up in my south-facing kitchen window, finally repotting them. We still have a few more weeks of possible frost here, but after Mother's Day, it's usually fairly safe to harden off the seedlings and transplant them in the outdoor garden.
The bad luck I've had with tomatoes here in our volcanic clay soil aggravates me to no end. Sometimes I lose the transplants to frost, but more often, they are lost to the withering dry heat and parching wind we experience in waiting for the monsoon rains to come and set everything growing again. I refuse to give in and continue to try. One year I got about a dozen green tomatoes that I brought in on the vine and let ripen. We had those around Thanksgiving that year. This year the plan is to put half the transplants in the more protected shadehouse/greenhouse I'm working on, and the other half in the front garden. Maybe I can rig up some little shade houses over them with drip waterers until the rains come...