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...