Still Under Snow


Went out to visit my gardens this morning and found them still under a couple inches of snow.  This time of year I start getting antsy and wonder if I really will get to planting in late March, as I have for the past few years.

But, the NOAA weather forecast calls for temps anywhere from the high thirties to mid-fifties all this coming week, so I’ll wager that snow will be gone by next weekend.  That would still put me a couple weeks out from feeling like I have to be putting seeds in the ground.

Barring more big snows and cold temperatures, I’m guessing I’ll still be right on schedule. I just keep wondering what effect climate change, along with the La Nina cycle, will have on my growing season this year.

I’m also getting closer to starting tomatoes.  That means I have to do some heady arithmetic about how many plants of each variety I’ll want to get going, and how many I will actually be able to fit in the garden along with everything else.

I will likely try to hit a 100-transplant target–but cherry and other little types won’t get as many plants per variety as the slicers and paste types will, even though I do plan to specialize in the little ones this season.

Considering I had four Sun Gold plants (two of which got inundated by weeds and weren’t so productive) and only one red pear plant last year, and I was able to consistently fill several pint boxes per week, I think I’ll be OK to restrict the number of little tomato plants and still get a reasonably huge harvest.

I also need to take into account less-than-100% germination rates, and the extra plants I’ll start for people who’ve requested a few for their own gardens.   The result will likely be a 16-plant germination target for slicers and pastes and an 8-plant germination target for tiny tomatoes.

That would give me an extra 4-pack of tiny types and two extra 4-packs of each larger type to disseminate to other gardeners in the area if I wanted to actually grow 4 plants each of the tiny types and 8 plants each of the larger types for my own use and sales/deliveries.

But here’s the problem:

With something like 21 varieties to grow:

4 each of 5 tiny types=20 plants

8 each of 16 larger types=128 plants

148 plants total just for my garden.

296 tomato plants total in my basement when it comes time to move them up to 4-packs.

That sounds pretty overwhelming.  But, if I time it right, it won’t be.  It’s only a little more than (6) 4-pack flats full of tomato plants, which will fit nicely on two of my three light shelves. That should leave plenty of room for one flat of eggplant and two of peppers.

So now I just have to figure out how to make room in the garden for 48 additional plants above that initial 100-plant idea.  Glad we expanded the space a little last year!

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