So the other day, I took a peek over the fence at some community garden planters at the retirement residence near my house. I was shocked at the size of their tomato plants!
Most of them were a metre tall with full-sized slicer tomatoes already starting to ripen! Most of my plants, including the ones I bought from the greenhouse, are still under a foot tall and only three have a couple of tiny fruits so far.
So, am I really THAT far behind, or were the plants I saw purchased at an almost fully-mature stage? That has to be it, right?
As I’ve lamented before, these last couple of springs have been very cold which is not favourable for tomatoes, especially some of the long-season heirlooms I like to grow. Last year it was late August/early September before I could eat tomatoes from every plant I had, and I’m guessing it’ll be similar this year. I always get a bit nervous when I look at my tiny seedlings in late June, but as long as we can sustain some heat through the month of July they WILL bounce back. It’s already kind of crazy to see how fast the tiny plants I started late from seed have nearly caught up to, or even surpassed, the ones I bought from the greenhouse.
To reiterate – they always catch up! It is the great miracle of tomatoes. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still a little jealous of the people who will be already eating a home-grown tomato in a couple of weeks.