This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

comparing tomato planting dates from previous years

Yesterday I transplanted 6 tomato seedlings to my side yard garden. Its been so warm this spring that it seems like tomato planting time already to me. Temperatures the past 2 weeks have been in the 70s and 80s, nighttime lows staying up near 50*F. The forecast is for a week of rainy weather in the 60's - perfect for tomato roots to take hold and grow. I plan to plant another 6 plants out at my community plot. I will try to wait until mid May to be safe as this big open space can get late frosts.

I compared this tomato transplant date with previous years. For the past 6 years, I have transplanted tomatoes out from May 3 to May 30. One year that I tried planting out in April with wall-o-water protectors and the plants did not do well.

2012: April 21 and TBD

2011, May 30: Last spring was very cold and damp. I planted tomato seeds late, around April 25, then transplanted seedlings out to my community plot on May 30. I never really got many tomatoes from these plants. I think my mistake was to plant them right next to my dense corn patch (just to the north of it), and I planted too many tomato plants too close together. I had lots of fungal problems - fortunately no late blight, but seemingly every other fungi (post). I pulled the plants in August and gave up.

2010, April 7 and May 16: I planted a few tomato seeds very early, Feb ?, and the rest right on schedule, March 23, 6 weeks before our usual last frost date of around May 4. I tried Wall-O-Water and transplanted the early (Beaver Lodge) plants to my side yard garden on April 7 (posts). But cold weather stayed late and I couldn't remove the covers til the first week of May. Most of the plants in them died from fungi as there is no air flow inside the units. I did my regular tomato transplanting on May 16 (post).

2009, May 3: I sowed tomato seeds Feb 21 and April 2, then transplanted the seedlings to the garden on May 3. This was the year that Late Blight wiped out almost every tomato in New England. Mine were no exception.

2008, May 22: This was a year of super tomatoes (post). Not many plants, but beautiful tomatoes (post). It was also my first year in my community plot. Here's a photo of transplanting tomatoes (with Amelia) on May 22 in my brand new plot (post). I planted my tomato seeds on April 6.

2007, May 20: I had an enormous crop this year!!

2006, May 23:
Another super year for tomatoes.

I wish I had a chart for each year to see when certain flowers bloomed and birds arrived and nested. My sense is the season is at least 2 weeks early here this year. My early rhododendron blossoms have come and gone, the purple iris is blooming and tree peony buds are about to open. Oak leaves are bigger than squirrels ears and the robins are nesting. The activity at our community garden is amazing and everyone is enjoying the warm spring.



Anonymous Teresa Noelle Roberts said...

I'm starting to harden off my early tomatoes to plant out later in the week, but I don't trust this weather. (I'm originally from the Finger Lakes region in New York, where it's often snowing in late April.) I think we're at least two weeks early because the flowers that I used in my wedding bouquet on May Day ten years ago, and which normally bloom around that time, are full bloom now.

April 22, 2012 4:28 PM

Blogger The Ebullient Gardener said...

Very interesting information! We are noticing the same weather pattern here in Southern Indiana! Everything is definitely ahead of usual! I have also tomatoe seedlings transplanted into the garden! Very nice to see your observations from the past several years! Thanks so much for sharing!
Happy Gardening!

April 22, 2012 5:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really would love to plant Cucumber, Tomaote, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Beans..etc.. This weather has got me itching to transplant! I am just so nervous to do so prior to the traditional end of May planting. I think that I will try to venture out May 15th to transplant. :).... If I can hold out that long!

April 23, 2012 2:49 PM

Blogger icebear said...

I plan to stick to the schedule of previous years. Some things i can't prevent are my apple tree blooming and blueberries flowering... but if it frosts i could lose everything. i figure even if i don't get in 2 weeks early, the soil may be so much warmer than normal, i will still get advantage from that.

April 24, 2012 8:06 AM


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