Friday, February 03, 2012

...1! GARDEN

Right now it's sunny, so I'm leaping into gardening even though spring is a technical ways off, even in these mild NorCal parts. I'm probably waving the naughty finger at Mother Nature again, without any regard for the implications of last year's missteps, but this is my way.

Learn nothing. Move on. Be all shocked when shit happens just like last time.

Or at least it has been my way, historically, for a particular facet of gardening that I have just refused to pay attention to with my fullest attentions so that I could learn something before moving on.

And now that I've gotten way off course with this post already, let me swerve wildly back to my original purpose which was to tell you all that I'm done killing tomato seedlings.

I'm just done with it. I'm done feeling like a failure when I grow my entire garden from organic, open-pollinated, heirloom seeds purchased from reputable local farmers and seed banks EXCEPT for my tomatoes which I buy as successfully hardened off seedlings ready to go right into my garden to grow 50+ pounds of fruit per plant for me. 

Because I kill tomato seedlings. Like some pathological tomato baby hating monster even though that's really far from the truth.

People - you know I love my tomatoes. And not in the sexy way where all your minds just went.


Filthy, you people. Honestly.

But of all of my plants and vegetables and trees and grasses and growing things, I love tomatoes the very super most.

*pinches cheeks*

And I should be able, as a self-respecting gardener, to grow them successfully from seed. Particularly since I live in a climate that is so forgiving and offers zero room for me to spread the blame beyond my own black tomato seed growing thumbs.

Maybe if I lived in a place that got snow and had short summers. Or somewhere that has really humid and hot summers. Or some place with really cool summers. Or bugs. Or tornadoes. Or if I didn't have access to every single tool and reference material and My Mom's Need To Know Basis memory bank.

Maybe then. But the way things stand, I should really know how to consistently, effectively, 100%edly take a viable tomato seed and grow it into a big strapping plant that pushes forth 50+ pounds of tomatoes for me.

I see this like the knitting thing, in a way, since I didn't feel like I'd earned my knitting stripes until I'd knit a sweater. A sweater a real person would wear, too.

So, I feel now that I must master the art of growing tomatoes from seed in order to feel in my deep down gardeny parts like a real and proper gardener. Which means that the part of the process in which I am a complete failure - hardening off young seedlings - must be cracked.

But how?

I mean, it's not like I haven't tried growing tomatoes from seed. Or that I haven't gotten them to germinate and grow into spindly funky weird Tim Burton-esque beings in my kitchen window's weak sunlight. Or that I haven't, then, done the precarious DON'T BLOCK MY PATH, DOG/BUBBA/CAT/WIND/DOOR shuffle in and out of the house to the garden morning and night trying to get them to straighten up and fly right in the specially prepared soil with just so much water and big tons of love and not too much darkness or cold or frost or sun or wind.

I have.

But I've failed.

So, I've decided to suck it up, stow my pride and take a class on growing tomato seedlings.

But I'll only undergo this exercise with the expert of tomato experts, Ms Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farms.

I'm not going to get all star-stalkery on you here, but she's my garden hero and I keep taking classes at the farm with the delusion that I'll somehow morph into a more foul-mouthed and less refined version of this classy gal.

She's classy. You just know that she is because HELLO and also watch her in the video with Mr. Classy Himself, Eric Ripert. I do so enjoy Eric. Though, I also very much enjoy Tony, and that's probably because he's got that foul-mouthiness with which I heartily identify.

Whatever - I don't have designs on becoming some super classy non-swearing garden maven, but I do have concrete plans to grow my tomatoes from seed this year.

So I'm going to the damn class at LAF and this spring is TOMATOES BY SEED OR BUST. Or, you know, by seedlings purchased at Yamagami's if I prove to be a complete failure.

If I prove to be a success of any measure, I'm going to have on the order of about 100 seedlings, so if you're in the Silicon Valley and want a possibly obstinate yet productive tomato plant, just say the word. Then cross your fingers as hard as you've ever crossed anything before.

Wow. That sounds kinda pervy.


  1. HAHA. You're going to end up in the same position I was in last year, with 100+ seedlings. Too bad you don't have a local branch of the FFA to trade seedlings with. Or do you?

    I have faith in you, Finn. Go to it.

  2. Tomatoes are so easy to grow, really. My biggest producers every year are the volunteers that come up from tomatoes that either I or one of the squirrels dropped. E-A-S-Y! [Disclaimer: I am not bragging. This is simple data. I want to be encouraging.]


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.