I dread cold weather. The moment the earth begins to turn away from the sun I begin longing for just one more day of unseasonably warm weather. Bulky sweaters, furry socks, and bone chilling cold leave me longing for the steamy days of summer. Even in “Hotlanta,” most of us can look back on last winter and shiver.
Reluctantly, I have planted my “winter greens” (lettuce, kale, spinach). However, I didn’t have the heart to leave the green pepper and tomato plants outside to suffer a frigid death. Nor could I rip them from the earth and toss them on the compost pile.
Yes, there are tomatoes, pepper plants and even a cucumber vine growing in my bathroom.
As the weatherman predicted frost, I rushed to Billy’s with a pair of scissors and cut every tomato from the vine. Leaving a large amount of “limb,” I placed the stalk into a glass jar filled with water. The stalks will eventually turn brown and look terrible, but the tomatoes will ripen at their own pace and still taste spectacular.
When cooler weather forces us to turn up the thermostat, I place a warm-steam humidifier in the greenhouse as a way of keeping the plants moist without over watering them, as I am prone to do.
While I realize that most of the plants will downsize, shedding their leaves during their winter rest, all of them will enjoy their new home. Come spring, I will transfer the pepper plants and the lone tomato directly into the soil. Both will get a spring trim which will encourage new growth and, hopefully, give me a few months head start on the growing season.
None of these plants will produce a bountiful harvest as they did during the summer, having them nearby reminds me that winter won’t last long.
Renea Winchester is an award-winning author whose book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes earned her a SIBA and GAYA nomination. She is currently teaching emerging author workshops across the Atlanta metro area in conjunction with her newest release: Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. Visit her at http://adviceforauthors.wordpress.com