This year, I was all set to go with my garden, planting more than I did last year. Last year, I grew only tomatoes from plant starts I purchased at my local nursery. Three tomato plants, 1 Sun Gold, and 2 Super Sweet 100s, produced over 1200 tomatoes! For a month and a half, we ate the most wonderful tomato salads. It was all I could do from eating them before they were to be served at dinner. They were like candy.
Amazing, I thought. My investment really paid off. I took copious notes about when I planted, fertilized etc. hoping that it would pay off again this year. While I've had some success this year, including a successful harvest of winter beets (pictures below in a previous post) and spring lettuce, I'm mildly concerned that my tomatoes just aren't going to be productive.
First, it's been rainier and cooler longer in 2010 than the same time last year. I recently read an article in our local newspaper that stated a year ago in May 2009, we had record breaking heat. I didn't know it was record breaking. I thought it was normal! Perhaps that's why my tomato and bell peppers did exceptionally well. Tomatoes love sun AND heat. So I thought I was doing well when I planted my tomatoes in mid-April like I did last year, 6 this time. I planted some of the same variety and two new kinds.
As soon as I planted them, a cold spell hit and then I noticed that my plants were getting the tell tale signs of being cold. I wrapped them in the row cover to keep them warm and then they sprouted and grew beautifully. Now they are taller than I am (5'2") with some flowers but no fruit. Perhaps they expended all their energy on growing. According to my 2009 garden notes, on July 15, I wrote that the tomatoes are starting to ripen, and more fruit appearing. Well, it's 2010 and there is no fruit. On July 30, 2009, I picked my first sweet little tomato. I'm both grateful and scornful of my notes. Grateful because I have a comparison, scornful because I can't fool myself into believing that my crop will come.
Will I have anything to harvest this year?! I am hopeful for heat later in the summer and perhaps an overdue crop? Cross your fingers.