Planting Tomato Seeds (before the rains come)

21 Apr
Planting Tomato Seeds (before the rains come)

Yesterday morning all was serene until I checked the forecast and learned that at precisely 10:00 am there was a 100%  chance of rain.

It was 9:30.

Calling Billy I, of course, received his answering machine.

“It’s going to rain!” I reported. “In exactly 30  minutes. I’m bringing the tomato seeds and coming over.”

I was referring to the Botanical Interests seeds you can win if you comment on ANY blog posting. I’ll be giving them away now thru the last Friday in May. Here in Atlanta, we need to get these seeds started…immediately, if not sooner !

I arrived to discover Billy in no hurry at all. Explaining that we need to get the tomato seeds in the ground (like now), I grabbed the shovel and asked where he wanted the seeds. After a brief discussion we decided to start them in the “cold frame.” Even though the threat of frost is probably over, Billy’s makeshift frame will work perfectly, especially since we are expecting another couple inches of rain to fall.
As you will see in the picture, the dirt is wet.  Planting in wet soil is usually discouraged as big clods of dirt are difficult to break up once the sun hardens them. However, the choice of waiting until the bed dries isn’t an option. We truly are cutting it close as Heirloom Tomatoes can take up to 80 days to mature.  Using a plastic knife, which will double as a marker, I scratched a small row into the soil.  I careful pushed the seed into the soil with my finger then covered the seed with more dirt. Billy tore off a piece of masking tape which I secured around the fork. I then wrote the variety planted on the fork, then placed it in the row so we (hopefully) will know what we’re growing. 
We covered the area with a large door, someone gave to Billy years ago. This will heat the soil, and protect the area from the predicted rain. Soon we’ll have Black Krim, Silvery Fir Tree, Beefsteak, Cherokee Purple, and Brandywine. We are excited to see how well these varieties grow on Billy’s little strip of land.
Watch a short YouTube video here of the process. Oh, and by the way, that rain that was to come at exactly 10:00 am, arrived many,  many hours later, at 3:31 the following morning to be exact.
Remember, comment on any blog posting to enter, and keep those hands dirty!
Renea Winchester is an award-winning author whose book, In the Garden With Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes has been nominated for a SIBA and GAYA. Visit her at to learn more.

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7 responses to “Planting Tomato Seeds (before the rains come)

  1. Lois

    April 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    One of my favorite things about this time of year are tomatos! (had a tomato sandwich for dinner last night).
    Loved the book, and love following Billy’s blog…Thanks Renea!

  2. Rachel

    April 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    You are way ahead of me girl! I have like nothing planted in our cold frame yet!

  3. Kay

    April 22, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Love the new look!

    • Andrew The Chickenman

      April 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      So you have the “damaters” planted and now I have to walk further around “that” garden to get to the chickens and baby chicks. See you soon! BW Remind Jamie … who was just a birthday boy!

  4. Samantha

    April 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Those R some nice looking tomotoes!

  5. Ann Strickland

    April 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Love your posts and blogs! Can’t wait for a tomatoe sandwich with lots of Dukes mayo!!!

  6. Watch full Episodes of house free

    May 7, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Some genuinely fantastic info, Glad I found this.


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