That noise, you ask? It's a sigh of relief. Uttered by me- Thankful to have finally divided ALL of the tomatoes that Ardis helped me to plant. It was closely followed by a sigh of "what in the world am I going to do will ALL of these tomatoes?" We planted 11 varieties in 3 successive sprees over a few weeks' time. All of my efforts to divide the plants has resulted in multiple trips to local stores carrying planting supplies in search of peat pots and a good deal of exasperation on my part. Exasperation because we, as a region, have been on the cusp of being able to sow directly into the ground, allowing stores to feel like there is no longer a need to re-fill "seed starting" stuff.
*As a side note- stores will begin to mark down seeds over the next few weeks and months because they want to be able to fill the floor space with next season's supplies. These sales will include fall crops. Also, remember, seeds you buy this year will still germinate next year.*
Now that all of the tomatoes have been divided the reality of planting with a toddler has set in. We have 144 pots of tomatoes. Please note that I said POTS- not plants. Several pots have multiple plants that I felt were too small to be alone, and I just wasn't capable of throwing them away. The pots also vary in size from small 2" peat pots to 4" peat pots to various plastic pots from recently purchased plants. It's been a doozy. I ran out of tongue depressors and had to move on to color coding skewer sticks. 144 pots, despite the fact that our blind cat, Bluff, slept on one of the two varieties of Romas I planted. I can only imagine the faint cries of terror as the little plants were slowly smothered to death during the night. I, unfortunately, do not know which because I never marked the seeds when I planted them. (oops.) Having a hard time visualizing 144 plants? Let me help you out with that....
Update on the Belladonna Fiasco of 2011- The plants seemed to have weathered my viscious weeding better than I thought. While harvesting the last of the radishes today (they were going to seed), we discovered at least 15-20 2" tall plants growing in the bed. Cross your fingers that they are Rutgers.
Below you will find a little less fun, little more practical list of the tomatoes we planted. If you are interested in a plant or two, please feel free to comment below. Plants will be ready in the upcoming weeks. Each variety produced different quantities- Plants will be dispersed on a "first come, first served" basis after filling my rasied beds and family requests. Remember that we are unsure which Romas were suffocated by Bluff's sleeping body. The tomatoes are as follows (separated by when planted):
1) Yellow Pear shaped- no "real" name on the package and the seeds were two years old- also planted during second "planting spree"
2) Romas- love Romas for freezing for chilli, spaghetti, soups, etc.
3) Roma "Juliet" (grape tomato)- love these for making relishes and salsa becasue they can be cut across their width so that the relishes/salsas have beautiful little rings of tomato.
4) Queen of Heart- the picture was pretty, and I liked the name. Is it wrong to choose tomatoes by their name? (red tomato)
5) Jubilee- orange tomatoes that make a beautiful addition to relishes and salsa-
6) Warren's Yellow- yellow cherry sized tomato- Ardis chose these seeds at Burson's Feed and Seed
7) Box Car Willie- How could I not buy a tomato called "Boxcar Willie?" (red tomato)
8) Pruden's Purple- an heirloom with a pretty picture and interesting name-should be a dark red.
9) Abe Lincoln- another tomato purchased for its name alone- should be a bright red
10) Early Girl Hybrid- purchased simply because I knew my mother liked them. Early Girls are a nice red tomato that produces quickly and early
11) Beefsteak- "Angel" tomato seeds that I received with an advanced reader's copy of a Kim Harrison book 2 years ago. If you've read Ms. Harrison's books, you should find the fact that I've planted so many tomatoes a bit ironic.
So many tomatoes. So little freezer space.