This is a guest-entry from Kris, the Tomato Queen.

Okay, call me crazy. I just took an afternoon of vacation to come home and dig in the dirt. My tomato plants, started from seed on February 24th, were begging to be put into the ground. J.D. tilled the vegetable plot yesterday, the sun is shining and the bees are buzzing! All is in readiness.

photo by Kris

This year’s crop includes(d) eleven varieties:

  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green — repeat from ’06, it’s green when ripe & actually tastes bacon-y to me
  • Bloody Butcher — early salad-sized tomato, repeat from ’06
  • Black from Tula — Russian “black” beefsteak, recommended by Amy Jo
  • Box Car Willie — fatal transplant accident! (More below.)
  • Dr. Wyche’s Yellow — huge orange-yellow beefsteak, repeat from ’06
  • Oregon Star — recommended by Craig
  • Raad Red — free tomato seed w/ purchase, relegated to the spot with least sun
  • Red Star — a pleated red cherry tomato
  • Rutgers Select — roma/paste-type
  • San Marzano — roma/paste-type
  • Sungold — golden cherry, from the Garden Show last weekend

Think I’ll have enough?

Alas, I handled the Box Car Willie too roughly and snapped its stem as I was attempting the transplant. In sheer desperation, I cut off the lowest tier of leaves, filled the hole with rich potting soil, and stuck in the stem six inches deep. Watered a lot. Misted. Watered. Misted. It probably will shrivel up. It’s too late in the season to start another one from seed but there’s always next year. Poor Willie!

photo by Kris

This past weekend was the annual Master Garden Show at the Canby Fairgrounds. I exhibited incredible restraint! I had a list and stuck to it (mostly), purchasing:

  • pickling cukes
  • anaheim pepper
  • aforementioned Sungold cherry tomato
  • butternut squash
  • acorn squash
  • pineapple sage
  • lemon-rose-scented geranium
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • lemon verbena
  • English thyme
  • ornamental currant “ribes brocklebankii”
  • evergreen “clematis armadii” Snowdrift

Everything’s planted except the pepper.

Of course, then on Sunday I coerced J.D. into facing the crowded Portland Nursery. I was craving a small evergreen for the spot by the garage where we removed a monster of a climbing rose. Found the perfect juniper communis “gold cone” and picked up a couple more peppers (jalapeño and cayenne) and some catnip for the cats (really for J.D., who thinks the cats need it).

Already up in the garden are: peas, yellow onions, rice, turnips, carrots (second planting — aliens took the first sprouts one night, en masse), and red and Yukon Gold potatoes. Oh, and asparagus, but not enough to really harvest, although I’ve cut a couple to nibble on. Beets are planted, and nasturtiums. Corn, green/wax beans, salad cucumbers, ornamental gourds, sunflowers, and dill to be planted soon, now that the spring has arrived.

I am eager to begin the harvest!

p.s. Not really growing rice — just checking if you’re awake.

9 Replies to “Tomato Planting Day”

  1. The Cat Whisperer says:

    You’re crazy… 😉

  2. Lynn says:

    Surprised I didn’t see you guys at the Garden Show. I always go with my mom as sort of a Mother’s Day tradition. However, last year her wagon got jacked. This year, she decorated her new Radio Flyer by painting her name and flowers and putting bright foam stickers on it. Yes, people pointed and stared, but it made her feel better.

  3. Amy Jo says:

    I sure hope some of the tomatoes ripen while you are in England & Ireland. I can taste them already. I’m feeling a bit sad that we aren’t planting any this year . . .

  4. pdxwoman says:

    I saw “rice” and thought, “Rice?! Can you grow rice in Oregon? Who has the time or space to maintain a %$&# rice patty?”

  5. Kris Becker says:

    I love the Sungold tomatoes,and that’s one of the few varieties that will fully ripen up here in Port Townsend’s coastal winds–IF we can keep the deer away! They also reseed plentifully if you let the last fruits fall off in the fall so you can get lots of new starts the next year.

  6. Craig says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if one could grow rice in Oregon? It grows wild in Minnesota… Quick, to the internet!

  7. Courtney says:

    I’m so glad I caught the gardening bug from you (and Craig). I can’t wait for a garden tour! Other than 2 tomato fatalities, my garden is thriving. I’m just hoping Andrew and I finish the second planter box this weekend so I don’t lose out on our continuous harvest!

  8. Lisa says:

    Craig planted the tomatoes last night, all the while muttering about Kris and her tomatoes that were already in the ground.

  9. pam says:

    I was thinking the same thing as pdxwoman (only in a less funny way!) about the rice!

    you impress me with your purchase restraint- i went a little crazy at the garden show, buying two pages worth of plants!

    and you inspire me with your tomatoes. After reading this I figured it was time to plant mine too.

    happy gardening!

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