03 Feb 2011 10 Comments
I’ve decided to start my tomatoes, a little head start on the season, if you will. Tomatoes, because I’m still reeling from the devastating loss of my gorgeous fall crop. Nasty Jack Frost nipped them right before my eyes, days before they matured to peak perfection. Bad Jack Frost.
But I will not be shaken from the garden. My roots are grounded, my will is strong. Granted the old man is still hanging around (blustering old fool), but I won’t be intimidated. In fact, I will outsmart him! I’ll start my tomatoes indoors, near a warm sunny window–where he can’t get to them. We’ll laugh and we’ll frolic and we’ll watch the old blow hard scourge the landscape into a frightful state–while we’re snug and secure indoors. My tomatoes soon will realize it’s safe to sprout, and will poke their tiny green heads from the soil, followed by their skinny little bodies.
And I will feed them eggshells. The secret for beautiful, robust, blossom-end rot free tomatoes! It’s the calcium, you see (in addition to even watering and good potting soil) that will set their fruits strong and sure. Plus, for good measure, I’ll throw in some Epsom salt. Read somewhere these were wise moves and I’m a wise woman! I believe it has something to do with adding magnesium and sulfur to the soil. Magnesium helps promote chlorophyll formation and sulfur helps activate plant proteins and enzymes needed for growth.
Hmmm…. Very interesting. I feel a lesson coming on (watch out students). Elements found in the garden will be ones you never forget–not after the gardenfrisk is through with you!
Anyway, deep breath, back to my tomatoes. They’re off to a good start. Found a strange squash or cucumber sprouting in one seed cell (which was promptly removed). Not sure how it ended up there, other than a case of mixing compost and potting soil. Which can happen. It’s busy around here come this time of year, what with seed saving and sprouting trays, compost buckets, potting soil, dog chasing, kid ruckus…I’m lucky I managed to save any seeds at all!
My tomatoes and I are ready–let the spring games begin! A tad early, but tomatoes are fussy. They don’t like it too cold or too hot. And while some of us may have forgotten what the summer heat feels like here in Central Florida, too busy heating their frost-nipped extremities, I have not. Nor will I allow myself to believe the heat won’t really hit until July. It froze twice in December, didn’t it?
Mother Nature and I are friends, but she does deserve a certain degree of my humble regard. After all, she does reign queen when it comes to gardening.