Thursday, April 12, 2012

Buckets and Sheets

We have had the strangest weather around these parts.  Our winter was the mildest I can ever remember.  Last week the temperatures were near 90 degrees a couple of days.  It seemed as though winter was spring and spring was summer.  Naturally, everyone has had spring fever.  And along with spring fever comes the feverish rush to get your vegetable and flower gardens planted.  

Jeff's brother, Ronnie, always starts his tomatoes from seeds.  He buys lots of heirloom varieties and shares them with everyone.  We usually plant several of his and then buy some of the more traditional types like my dad and PaPa Howell grew.  

Growing up, I have always heard my daddy say that his daddy (my PaPa Howell) always said that you should plant your tomatoes and other summer garden vegetables when you can sleep with only a sheet for your cover.  Of course, that's not a scientific rule.  No, it's better.  It's an old farmer's tale, which makes it even better to me.  

My dad is 68, and I know that there were many, many years his daddy had no air conditioning or central heat, so most likely he slept with the windows up if it was hot and covered up with thick blankets when it was cold.  When the temperatures got warm enough outside that a sheet was all the cover he needed  to sleep, then he knew it was okay to plant his tomatoes and his other vegetables.  

Lots of other people believe that it's okay to plant your garden after Easter.  But Easter might be in early April or late April.  Since it was in early April this year, Jeff decided to plant his garden Monday, after Easter.

He got plants from Ronnie and they were definitely ready to be planted.  

But last night, Mother Nature played a cruel trick.  She turned the weather chilly.  So this is how the tomatoes looked this morning.

Jeff found buckets and clay pots, whatever he could find to cover the plants up in the event we had frost.  We didn't.  If you look closely, you can see he used a tiny sand bucket to cover one of them.  A couple of the buckets were the boys' old Easter buckets.

So.  Do you plant your tomatoes after Easter or wait until you can sleep covered only by a sheet?  Hmmm.  Maybe we should've opted for the sheet theory.

Till next time...


Theresa said...

Oh Girl, you make me smile:) My Daddy, Your Daddy... precious to my heart! I use what they say as THE WAY to do it! I can remember telling my "oh so smart" husband one time! "If it was a good idea to do that, Marshall would have told me"! Marc didn't really appreciate me saying that but I meant it!

We sheeted our garden! We also put boxes over some of it! I sure hope it worked because we ALREADY have blooms on the tomatoes! We pretty much jumped the gun on planting and didn't listen to the advise of our "ALL knowing gardeners"! Love you and about to uncover my pretty hydrangeas! I love them so much I used my nice tablecloths for them:) HUGS!


I always wait til the last weekend in April or the first of May. The weather in Alabama is never something you can count on for certain. Loved the shots of the buckets over the plants.

Joyce said...

I don't have a clue about tomatoes.... but I am caught up on your blog! Now I have to post on mine and get ready for work. Looks like all had a great Easter! I am going to use the egg hunt idea for our family campout! I love it!!!!!!! How fun! Hope you have a great week and good luck with those tomatoes! :D

Ann said...

Just found your blog from visiting "The call me ganky". I love this post because I think my grandparents probably used this rule. They had a farm and never heard of air conditioning. Here in Kansas the weather has been crazy too--hardly any cold this winter, yesterday it was 68 and today its going to be 85!!!!WHOA
Have a great day

Mary said...

Good gardening. What a trick from your "weather man" I'm planting tomatoes next week, let's hope for some warmth. I'll join you and you may like coming to see me..I'll be putting in some garden installments. Heeee heee. What a treat.