Earliest spring

IMG_0501Mardi Gras has come and gone, which means spring is just barely around the corner.  I saw red swamp maple seeds littering the ground during a walk in the woods yesterday, and the lawn needs mowing after several days of not-so-cold rain.  But the surest sign of spring is in my garden:  tomato plants are not only in the ground, the plants have grown suckers during their two weeks’ in-ground residency.  (I leave it to you to decide whether de-suckering is a crucial or pointless practice; discuss among yourselves.)

I didn’t plant a fall garden this year (Isaac got in the way), so spring garden prep was limited to a little mulch-raking, tilling, and strategic repositioning of volunteer cilantro to make way for the tomatoes.  Nine plants (Celebrity & Better Boy varieties) are in the ground, and I have room for six or eight more beefsteak varieties.

It’s not too early to plant in Zones 8b and higher–get out there and garden!


3 thoughts on “Earliest spring

  1. Would love to but have yet to find a tomato plant that can withstand our 115 degree days. Hell it even got so hot 2 years ago it killed an ancient chili pequin bush I’d had in my back yard for almost a decade. It’s trunk was as big a round as my popeye-like forearm.

    • Heat is exactly why I plant my tomatoes so early. The plants won’t set fruit when overnight lows stay in the mid 70s….this is usually in June here. So if I want a good tomato crop, I have to start now. Waiting until April means very little fruit, unless I plant one of the heat adapted varieties like Solar Fire, Solar Set, Florida 91, or Heat Wave. I’ve tried those varieties only to see the plants and fruit succumb to insects & disease during our very hot, often very very wet mid summers.

      Good luck with your hot weather gardening! It’s a challenge not addressed by mainstream gardening info, that’s for sure.

      • thanks for the tip, I’ve got a handful of new chile bushes out right now, praying they’ll bear before our 100 consecutive days over 100-deadly summer heat sets in. Growing some NM peppers that are reputed to be pretty hardy.

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