You Say ‘Tomato,’ I Shiver in Fear

If you are one of the people who want or expect to receive tomatos from me, I must confess that I will be at work all day today, so if you want to mount a rescue operation involving you, some ninjas, and possibly Martha Stewart, you should do so.  I was growing them inside no problem, but since they have been moved outside to the porch…  Um… Yes… well…

They aren’t dead.  Most of them.

But that’s about all I can say.

I spent the early part of the evening planting tomatos and peppers in my garden.  All that remains to be done is planting the cantalope and the three plots of three sisters.  And then planting the marigolds.

Here is my only question for you, America.  I just bought one pack of corn because I don’t want or have room for a shit-ton of corn, but folks have been telling me that, in order to get ears, you have to have two types of corn.  Is this true?  Obviously, I need to know rather urgently, before I plant this evening.

Anyway, I love planting things in my garden.  I cannot recommend highly enough the mushroom compost from over at Bates.  Once it’s been in your yard a week, it no longer smells very strongly of coffee grounds, but it is quite a treat to be digging and be overcome by the faint smell of mushroom pizza.

I don’t even like mushrooms, normally, but the smell from my garden is making me feel very fond of them.

11 thoughts on “You Say ‘Tomato,’ I Shiver in Fear

  1. I know nothing about corn. But I do recommend bringing transplants out gradually: leave them outside, protected from the wind, during the day and bring them in again at night, all for about a week, before planting them.

  2. Here is what I found about corn:

    Corn needs warm weather for proper germination and growth. It won’t tolerate frost well. Corn does better in a balanced soil but will usually do well in soils that other plants do not do well in. Corn is usually self-pollinating, meaning it doesn’t need other types of corn plants to pollinate (and thus set fruit, or the corn cobs) but it does need more of its own type to pollinate properly. Some corn has to be kept away from other types of corn because it may cross-pollinate and may not produce the preferred type of corn. Do not plant sweet corn near any other type of corn (like popcorn) or this may cause improper pollination, leading to the formation of an unwanted and possibly inferior type of corn. It may not pollinate at all.

    This was taken from:

    Let us know how it goes because I have always wanted to plant corn in our garden but never tried it.

  3. Jim… hmm, thanks for clearing that up as I was thinking corn cross-pollinates.

    As for tomatoes — I have a friend who has tons of tomato seedlings that volunteered from last year. I can get you more if you kill what you have. This same friend introduced me to the mushroom compost — it rocks.

  4. I found some tomato plants elsewhere so don’t worry about me. Now it remains to be seen if I can transplant without killing them. They’ve been sheltered outside for several days but they gotta go in the ground this weekend.

  5. Yeah, what nm said. I learned that recently with my basil plant. I was all, “oh, Mr. Basil, you’re going to be so happy outside!” and Mr. Basil was all, “Holy shit, lady, all this wind and direct sunlight? Fuck you.”

  6. OTOH, with all this warm weather and sun, things you planted will probably look a lot perkier in a couple of days, if you keep them watered-but-not-overwatered.

  7. In order for the corn fruit to set, the pollen of one plant must travel through the air and land on the tassels of an adjacent plant. So, corn planting is usually more successful when planted in close, multiple rows rather than in a long, single row.
    as opposed to this:

    At the minimum, make two rows of corn adjacent, But four rows would probably be best. They can be short rows.

  8. The tomatoes should make it, Aunt B. – they just need to toughen up (as others have said). Mine are currently undergoing some serious boot camp…I set them outside yesterday and there they will stay…even though it’s been really kind of windy and very warm.
    I also second Dianne Stevens on the corn configuration. It works wonders.
    Keep everything watered and all will be well.
    (Just wait until you start growing really strange heirlooms and whatnot. You’ll stress every year. I have stories.)

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