Kitchen Garden

We Need a Break in the Weather

Seedlings are indoors. These trays plus four more under the grow light make 17. Half of them should already be in the ground.

The forecast is cold and windy today: marginal for working in the garden. As temperatures climb to around 40 degrees, the wind is forecast to pick up, resulting in a wind advisory beginning after lunch with gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Once the sun rises, I’ll go out and see what can be done before that starts. I’m not hopeful. Both seeds and seedlings need to get into the ground. Like with everything about gardening, it is culture rather than an exact science. There is flexibility.

I spent part of Sunday transferring germinated tomato seeds from the channel tray into full-sized soil blocks. I made 150 seedlings (bottom right of the photo) and plan to make another tray of slicers once I move some of the plants into the garden and greenhouse. The replacement greenhouse is not expected until next week so space is restricted. Tomatoes are an important garden crop and getting the right number at the right stage is important.

This year, I’m planting tomatoes in three plots. There will be a large space for slicers, one for plums, and another for cherries. The slicers are a mix of colors and will mostly be used fresh. Roma are for canning and I am trying San Marzano tomatoes for the first time. I’m also planting more Amish Paste along with Speckled Roman and Granadero. Cherry tomatoes are a basic and produce for a long season.

I’m hopeful for another great year of tomatoes. With 19 varieties the prospects are good.