There the sweeties are!I planted 4 heirloom varieties (Arkansas Traveler, Old German, White Brandywine, and Cherokee Purple) and one hybrid called First Light. I'm also going to purchase a couple of early-producing plants locally so we have some early tomatoes while we wait for the heirlooms to produce.
I can't wait to get them out into the garden.
I planted them early this year. We were SO warm at the end of February and early March that I hoped it would continue, and I could put them in the garden early in May. Now we're cooler again, so we'll see. I may have to keep them under lights longer, maybe till the end of May. Payson Spring is unpredictable.
I'm looking at average temperatures for dates, and I'm also looking at moon phases- you plant above ground producing plants on a waxing moon, so that means early May or toward the end of May.
Does the moon really make a difference? I don't know. But I've got generations of country farmer ancestors who would probably come back to yell at me if I ignored it. When I started researching moon phases for May, I discovered that some people promote planting by moon SIGNS, too. Yes, the astrological signs. Now, I can kinda/sorta wrap my mind around the pull of the moon affecting plants, but I don't believe in astrology for PEOPLE, much less for tomatoes.
I mentioned the tomato seedlings to my Mom, and she started reminiscing about her childhood. She grew up during the depression. Her family lived on a farm, and they depended on their crops and animals for their food. Listening to her, I began to think what it might have been like.
For me, if I plant them too early and a frost gets the veggies, or too late and don't get much harvest, all it means is that we have to eat store-bought instead of fresh. For my ancestors, if they miscalculated, it meant a portion of their food supply just wasn't there. If they miscalculated BADLY enough it meant that in the Winter they were going to go hungry. If we depended on it I would use any and all methods to help me figure out when to plant. And I would SERIOUSLY pray as I planted.
I have a couple of those old, blue canning jars, huge ones. I use them sometimes as vases for long stemmed flowers. But they belonged to my great Grandmother, and my Mom says she remembers Granny filling dozens and dozens of them with food for the Winter.
Life was harder and more uncertain back then.
I'm grateful that I CAN garden, but I'm also grateful that I don't HAVE to feed my family from my garden, and we won't go hungry if I screw it up.