A few days ago as I was staggering out to Homer the Odyssey juggling backpacks, newspapers, travel mugs and the other sundries of another working day, I glanced at the rooftops around me and saw frost thickly blanketing them. There was a thin coating of ice on the windshield. The dashboard lit up and informed me that the outside temperature was 34 degrees.
And I thought to myself…rut-roh…
I also thought a few other things, but let’s keep the ‘G’ rating, shall we?
Usually, our temperatures right now would be in the mid to high 70s during the day, with overnight lows in the mid-50s. We might occasionally get into the 40s, but the 30s?
Not after February.
But right after I transplanted those poor little plants, winter decided to do a curtain call. It got cold, it got rainy, and even worse, it got windy - the kind of wind that blows down fences and trees, and even the occasional RV.
I watched the weather reports anxiously…but they never said anything about temperatures getting down into the thirties. Forties, yes. Thirties, no. So I crossed my fingers and resigned myself to losing a few more transplants than I’d hoped…
Needless to say, when I went out this morning to look at the tomato field it was a scene of horrifying devastation. Oooooh, the tomato-ity…
There are a few ragged survivors, grimly clinging to the last vestiges of life…but they are a strange shade of yellow and I don’t have high hopes for them. Especially not with yet another cold and windy blast about to descend on us tonight.
Welllllllllllllllllll…guess I’ll have to come up with a Plan B for the back forty(yards) for this first planting cycle. It’s a little late to start all over with the tomatoes, especially since I’m out of the seed. Maybe break it back up into the smaller beds for now and get a mix of spinach, broccoli and other cooler-weather things going. I dunno. I’ll have to ponder it for a bit.
I tell you what, though, this actually makes me really glad we’re doing this the labor-intensive way: My financial loss isn’t all that bad. The husband said, “Maybe we could go to the nursery and buy some of those six-packs of tomatoes?”
They’re $3.29 apiece, and if we wanted to replace all of our lost transplants, we’d be looking at a good $90 bucks by the time we’d paid taxes (pause to consider the irony there: if you buy tomatoes at the supermarket, you don’t pay sales tax…but buy the plants or their seeds, and you do).
The seeds cost me about $3. The peat cups I used to start them were $4.
So, I’m out seven bucks for this epic fail.
I’ve had worse. (Far, far worse.)
The white potatoes were kind enough to send up a couple sprouts to say “there, there” this week. The peas have been extra generous and we’re all dreading the shelling tonight. I’ve got another half dozen red onions and a couple random green onions that popped up.
The beets are happy, and the two remaining broccoli plants are in full bud and about ready to harvest in.
Could be worse.
Could be better, too...but could be much, much worse.
Carlos A. Urbizo
20 hours ago