The Final Countdown

Baby Cherry tomatoes
I start the plants for the garden beginning in January in metro Phoenix with the intention of moving those plants to the cooler climes of the central Arizona mountains over Memorial Day weekend. Everything is based on that timing. I estimate the size of the plants so they can be moved. Up-potting the plants is based on that timing. My worries in the past have always been whether I will have crushing heat and dryness at my house before that weekend.

Homegrown Tomatoes
Plant ’em in the spring, eat ’em in the summer;
All winter with out ’em’s a culinary bummer.
I forget all about the sweatin’ and diggin’;
Everytime I go out and pick me a big one.

Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes.
What’d life be without homegrown tomatoes.
Only two things that money can’t buy;
And that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes

Guy Clark – Homegrown Tomatoes Lyrics

In the years we have had crushing heat in May the peppers and tomatoes have been very unhappy and it takes considerable effort to keep things alive. This year my worry is exactly the opposite – cold and wet weather. We have had unseasonably cold and wet weather this May. The weather up by the garden over Memorial Day weekend is forecast to have low temperatures in the upper-30s to mid-40s. While tI very much appreciate the respite from the heat, these are not the temperatures the plants are used to and are not within the range i am excited about moving the plants into.

So, I have pending conundrum: Whether to move the plants as scheduled or wait a week or so for warmer weather. Hopefully the forecast by the garden will show strong signs of a warming trend. I never thought I would wish for a (slightly) warmer start to June out here, and I know I will long for cooler temperatures in a few short weeks as the weather reverts to normal.

Ripening Cupid Pepeprs

For now, the plants are in my yard and are healthy and happy. I have the first baby tomatoes on the black cherry plants and blossoms are on many of the other tomatoes. The tomatillos are starting to blossom and are tall and strong. The various peppers and the eggplants are busy setting fruit and new blossoms. The serrano peppers are doing well enough I have even started this year’s fermented hot sauce: red serrano peppers, whole coriander seed, oregano, salt, and garlic. I will keep adding serrano peppers as they ripen.

Fingers crossed!


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