Tomato Surpriseby Angie

26 Mar 2011
4:03 pm

I have a wonderful, darling friend named Kjelene who thought of me on Friday when she heard that a nursery in Sunol was giving away free tomato seedlings. She drove down and picked up a bunch for herself and several friends, and came by my house to share the bounty. She dropped off seven little seedlings, each about 6-8 inches tall with an inch or so of roots, all packed into some wet potting soil in a plastic sandwich bag (I wish I had taken a picture). They were unlabeled, too, so besides knowing that they are all heirloom varieties and that there were a variety of sizes, colors, and types available… I have no idea what I’m getting!

It’s still pretty cold, so I really should have waited until next week to put them into the ground, but they just looked so miserable in their little plastic bag that I couldn’t help myself: the rain had stopped and the sun was shining weakly, so I spent that evening planting them all in a row. I’m glad my soil was already prepared, since I had turned it over twice and added some manure, peat moss, and topsoil already – it was perfect for planting. I pulled off the lower leaves and planted them quite deep, so now they’re just tiny little things poking out of the ground. It’s not likely to freeze anymore, but It’s still cold enough that I’ll be covering them at night for another week or so. I got pretty creative… between garbage bags and plastic drop cloths, they should be nice and snug. With so many plants this year, I’m going to try a year of severe pruning and training. It will mean fewer tomatoes, but I’ve been reading that it’s good for the roots and makes for higher quality fruit. I look forward to lots of canning this fall – who wants to come help??? :)

For my Dad’s benefit – at his request – here are also pics of my perennials: The strawberries are starting to get their buds, and my raspberries are doing great, too; you can’t really tell, but there are several new shoots mixed in with the strawberries. My poor little artichoke plant is kind of hanging on for dear life. I think it must just not get enough sun in its little corner: the fence blocks it from both the south and the west. I thought it had died completely last fall, but since it seems to be hanging in there, I’ll give it some more time.

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  1. Momma Hoffman
    5:16 AM on March 28th, 2011

    When we were out for Jon & Brittany’s wedding I saw that little artichoke in the corner & thought it was an artichoke, but never remembered to ask you about it. We tried growing an artichoke plant in Texas without much success, but with y’all being in California, you may have more luck – although I do think they like the sun! I’ll be anxious to hear about what kinds of tomatoes you get. Be sure to let me know when canning time comes – I’d love to come if I “can” ;-)

  2. Andre
    4:46 PM on March 28th, 2011


    You’ll be canning within no time. Your strawberries and raspberries look great.


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