The Bag Lady started some bedding plants for her garden last week. She planted eight different varieties of tomatoes. Does that sound excessive? She really likes growing tomatoes. The varieties she started are: Bush Beefsteak, Subarctic, Siberia, Early Cascade, Manitoba, Pink Ponderosa, Roman Candle (yellow) and Yellow Pear-shaped. She also planted some slicing cucumbers.
She used those little compressed peat pellets that expand when you add warm water. She loves those things! It's so cool to watch them grow. (small things amuse small minds...)
She hopes that this year will not be a repeat of last year. Last year, she started her tomato seeds as usual, and they did very well. She had them in trays on top of her fridge, and once they had grown to about an inch high, she decided to move them to the top of her upright deep freeze in another room. Where she promptly and completely forgot all about them. Imagine her chagrin when she went to get something out of the freezer a couple days later and there were all her little tomato plants, dead. Geez, she had never done anything like that before!
The Cowboy told one of his friends about it, laughing at the Bag Lady's forgetfulness. His friend has a greenhouse, and one day, to the Bag Lady's surprise, he showed up at her house with an entire flat of tomato plants that he had started! Sixty-four plants, to be exact. And all of them were cherry tomatoes.
One of the Bag Lady's cousins had come to visit her, and also brought her a couple of tomato plants that she had started (and remembered to water...), so the Bag Lady did have lots of tomatoes, in spite of the disastrous seed-starting fiasco.
She is looking forward to comparing the different varieties that she planted. She thinks that some of them will look really pretty in salads together - imagine a salad with red, pink and yellow tomatoes! She has learned, over the years, what works and what doesn't, as far as making salsa and canning tomatoes. Yellow tomatoes do NOT make attractive salsa. At least, not when you make huge batches for canning. The Bag Lady's salsa recipe calls for tomato paste, and when you combine the yellow tomatoes with red tomato paste (because she has never seen tomato paste made from yellow tomatoes), the resulting salsa turns an unappetizing brown. It still tastes good, just doesn't have the eye appeal. So she will use the yellow tomatoes for salads or fresh salsa, and keep the red ones for the salsa that she cans.
She will go to a greenhouse sometime in May and buy some pepper plants to grow in pots on her deck. She may have to buy tomato plants then too, if she's as forgetful as last year.... But she won't be, because all of you will remind her to water, won't you?