This is a much more momentous occasion than you might think – I’ve never had ripe tomatoes before July 4, and usually a week or even two later. The plant is an “Early Girl” which honestly is not all that tasty of a tomato variety – and yet compared to the trucked in tomato like objects in the grocery stores (at as much as $2 a pound!) they’re pretty excellent. A Home grown tomato is another thing that even when it’s bad is still pretty danged good. If I were only growing a few tomato plants “Early Girl” wouldn’t be the variety I would grow – I would grow “Celebrity” for it’s admirable if not outstanding taste plus unsurpassed reliability and disease resistance. Fortunately for me I can grow lots of tomatoes.
This plant was set out in my 50 dollar greenhouse on March 15 from seeds that I started using home made bottom heat in February, and is one of my greenhouse experiments – to grow extra early tomatoes.
So, two weeks isn’t really all that much earlier – is this experiment a success or not?
I must say that many gardeners in my area are not having stellar results this year, because wet weather prevented an early start, and more wet weather has caused poor germination, water logged roots, and a general failure to thrive. That’s because they don’t use raised beds, and therefore have poor drainage. Also the ongoing abuse of their soil caused by the application of chemical fertilizer and pesticides is not conducive to healthy plants when the weather is less than ideal. Healthy soil makes healthy plants.
My tomatoes are thriving on an application of compost + a scoop of rabbit manure (possibly the most excellent fertilizer there is) and a bit of lime in the planting hole and a weed suppressing mulch of grass clippings. Other than caging them and pulling the occasional weed I haven’t had to do a thing since planting. Soon will come the best job of all – eating home grown tomatoes.
Happy Organic Gardening!