Friday, March 14, 2014

It's Way Past That Time of Year

These arrived last month and I drooled over them for a few days.

I have had TERRIBLE tomato issues for the past few year and I'm sure it's a blight.  Last year, I didn't plant a single tomato and I was going to swear them off for a few years.

But.... a few volunteers sprang up, so I let them grow, thinking they must be hardy if they came back.

But I was so very wrong and I was so disappointed again last summer.

I am totally against GMO and I sometimes question what I think about cross breeding plants.  It's one of the many issues I have when it comes to organic produce and home  growing and heirlooms and all the rest.  Like, I debate whether buying organic seeds or heirloom seeds is more responsible.  I could give you a 20 point essay on this but I won't.

So, I sometimes buy organic, I sometimes buy heirloom and I sometimes save my own seeds and hope for the best.

This year, I really want to grow tomatoes again.  I had excellent results with the seeds I bought from Seeds of Change last year, so I thought I'd read through their catalog and see about getting some disease resistant tomatoes.

Next, the debate came over when to start my seeds.  The best garden year I had was the year I first had the greenhouse.  I didn't realize just how mild that spring was, and I was totally able to start seeds in the greenhouse in March and have fantastic results.

The next 2 winters reminded me what a fool I was when I couldn't get anything to start because it was too cold in March.  So I bought heat mats, which I didn't want to do, but they helped a lot.

This winter, we still have scenes like this.

With the threat of maybe some more coming.

So, I didn't dare try starting them in the greenhouse because if they don't get the right temperature range, the seeds won't start at all and they just sit there.  I thought if I brought them in and at least started them in the house, maybe if I put them on the heat mats in the greenhouse once they are established, then I'd have some success.

So, I lined them all up in little plastic clamshells in my picture window and got most of the tomatoes, some of the broccoli and a couple of spinach to start a couple of weeks ago.

I brought out the most leggy plants and planted them in bigger containers, put them in the clamshells and put them on heat mats.  A greenhouse within a greenhouse.

I'm a genius.

I go out in the morning and open the clamshells so they don't drown in their moisture and on warm days, I unplug the mats and then plug them in at night and close up all of the clamshells.

Everything was humming along nicely.  A couple of tomatoes had their second sets of leaves coming and looked great.

And then the temperature dropped to 13 last night. I was shocked when I went out this morning and everything was still happy.  I opened the clamshells, left the mats on even though I knew it would be sunny, because it was supposed to just be in the 30s all day.

And when I went back out to close the clamshells, there was wreck and devastation all over the place.  They didn't wither in the 13 degrees over night, but in the cool air today, some of them completely died and withered like you would not believe.

Many of the tomatoes are still out there growing their brains out, but I'll have to start some more.

But then there's the debate of when.  When is this nonsense going to end?  When should I bother starting them again and should I do it inside or out?

I'm not interested in running out to grab plants on the nights that it will get super cold.  I want them to be hardy enough to maintain themselves with the help of the heat mats because I think those will be the better plants.

But really, this has nothing to do with plants.  I want March to behave like March.  That means no more of the 20 degree weather.  March is all about high 30s, 40s and occasional 50s that make us think it's spring and head to the beach.  March is about rain and nasty winds but still 45 degrees.  Not snow, 20 degrees and still wearing heavy winter coats.

I want the gorgeous lines of seedlings I had a couple of years ago!!

Linking here:


  1. I can't believe you have had the greenhouse that long. It seems like you just got it!

  2. I don't even think I really understand what GMO even is. I eat what I like and always will.


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