My first real attempt at fruit and vegetable gardening — influenced by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Deep Economy and started a few weeks ago — seems to be going well.
Still, I’ve seen some of my friends’ gardens and their tomato plants are a good two feet taller than mine and that got me worried.
If you jump the gun you will stress those tender plants, which are native to the mountains of Chile and Peru. Their leaves will turn a sickly yellow, they will cease to put out new leaves and their roots, shocked by the cold soil, will not grow until the heat comes. In short, you achieve nothing by planting early, except setting your babies back. The same is true for peppers, eggplants, basil and many other heat-loving annuals.
So though my plants aren’t quite a large as my friends’ plants just yet, I’m hopeful that mine will produce a bountiful harvest!