Saturday, June 4, 2011
Tomatoes everywhere....uuuh, maybe?
On Thursday, 104 degrees and 65% humidity...a rain forest?
My friend from NY, who lives in Alabama, recounted the story of his tomato plants that failed. Or thrived, actually.
His Italian father told him to take cookie sheets and lay wet paper towel on the cookie sheets. Next, place one seed about every one inch in both directions, so you have a grid of seeds. Wet another paper towel and place over the seeds.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. When it reaches that temp, turn it off. Place the cookie sheets in the oven and leave overnight.
Cut the paper towel in tiny squares with one seed to each square. Place the little squares with seeds into the peat pots that go right into the ground. The pot should be filled halfway with soil before planting the square with the seed, then cover the seed and water. In two weeks there should be tomato seeds germinating. That is what his father said.
My friend did all this and waited and waited and waited. He called his father who told him to be patient. Finally, he threw pots, seeds, dirt and all into his garden area. My friend was annoyed that the plan failed.
He went back out to till a few weeks later. When he looked in the garden a few weeks after tilling, he was shocked to find tomato seedlings all over the place. The tiller had spread them all over the garden, little tiny seedlings. He pulled them up and flung them out into the yard in all directions up and down the perimeter of the garden. Still later.....Yes, soon the tomatoes sprung up all over the yard.
Once again, he treated the seedlings shabbily, flinging all the tiny plants up against the fence line, trying to rid himself of the nuisances.
Eventually, these once again thrived. Tomato plants grew all along his fence. He had about 24 bushels of tomatoes. The neighbors finally refused to take more tomatoes for canning or eating. He lives in the city, so it is not like he lives where people plant an acre of tomatoes.
I laughed so hard at this tale of trying to kill tomato plants. How many of us are worried about tomatoes not germinating/growing/thriving under adverse conditions? Who gets angry when they germinate and grow?
He also told me his neighbor in NY planted his spring crop of tomatoes every fall by throwing tomatoes against the side of the garage as he watched them burst and slide down the side of the garage. In the spring, he had tomato plants.
Both stories are hilarious and bizarre to me. Really, he tells the story better than I, expressing surprise, dismay, and disgust.
Have you been faced with tomatoes that thrived no matter what? Got a funny tomato planting story? Got a bizarre method of planting?