img 5394 scaled Tomato Flowers

Tomato Flowers

Happy news!!! The tomatoes I grew from seed have started to grow their first little tiny flower trusses! look how beautiful they are:

Dancing with Smurfs, first flower trusses, planted March 1
Stupice, first flower truss, planted March 1
David Hass PA Pink Plum, first flower truss, planted March 1
Bear Claw, first flower, planted March 1

Look at how different the Bear Claw tomato flower looks! It reminds me of a little sunflower, which ought not be too surprising since Bear Claw grows gigantic blooms sort of like a sunflower, but it never ceases to amaze me how unique the flowers are on this variety compared to the others.

Today I am leaving the plants outside all day despite the unexpected April showers that encroached on us this morning. It’s the very first time these plants have ever been watered by Mother Nature, so a very big day for these little plants. The weather has been too cloudy for these plants to get tested by sunlight, and I’m a little nervous that they might wilt when the sun finally comes out full force. All of the tomatoes seem to be handling the cold all right except for Anna Russian.

My prissy Anna Russian tomatoes do not like being outside their warm, comfortable home at all. They have been leaning on their brother plants while growing inside, and I think that the combination of the cold temperatures and being tossed about in the breeze is too much for their delicate constitution. They aren’t lying down in the picture below, but at this very moment, Anna is reclined comfortably as if my concrete sidewalk were an antique fainting couch. If only they made smelling salts for tomatoes…..

I could not get a great angle on these…. the tallest plants are a little over a foot tall.

In other news, I finally ran up the white flag and put my squash, flower, and pepper seedlings on a heat mat to germinate. It’s been three days, and everything has sprouted up well except Jared’s Lunchbox peppers:

Seedlings do sprout better on a heat mat

These tardy seedlings will reside safely indoors for at least three more weeks until I am satisfied that there are no more very cold nights in the forecast.

After a lot of tedious searching, I found some plastic to cover the garden that didn’t cost $100 a roll. I plan to out that out tomorrow or Wednesday after the soil has had time to dry after today’s rain shower. The weather is supposed to get very cold — near freezing — on Wednesday and Thursday night, so I will need to cover my tender tomatoes. I hope that the black plastic will warm the soil enough that the tomato roots can stay healthy despite the cold air coming.

I must have gotten into some poison ivy last week when I was pulling weeds by the blackberries. My arms and hands are trying to pop out in blisters. I’ve learned after many bad experiences that the spray calamine with lidocaine is the absolute best for dealing with poison ivy, so I’ve been treating with that, and it seems to be helping. My herbalist friend made me a special tea that is supposed to soothe it, and I think I will try that this afternoon after I get these extra seeds dropped off at Del’s.

Not garden related…

Jared is out of town this week picking Sydney up at school, and I’m here all alone. The weather isn’t cooperating so that I can get things ready for my little girlfriend party tomorrow night. My good friend, Angel, is moving, and several of us are getting together to celebrate being vaccinated and to say goodbye to her. I will really miss Angel. She’s not moving far, but 25 miles is a lot different than 3, especially when most of the distance must be traveled on I-95. Thank goodness we have a good texting habit that is unlikely to break :-).

But today has been a nice, if quiet, day. I’d like to be working outside rather than sitting in here, but Mother Nature rather rudely did not check my to do list before deciding to lift her skirts and sprinkle on my day.

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.