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 www.reneawinchester.com to learn more.