Weekend Planting: Tomatoes and Roses
Remember those little tomato plants we started from seed? Well, after taking almost two weeks to harden off (cool and rainy weather slowed that process down a bit), they were finally ready to go into their permanent locations this weekend:
Here are 32 Roma tomatoes. They are bush varieties that will later will get cages to support them. The ones in the foreground are Monica; the ones in the background are Bellstar. To the right you can see a cookie sheet with several pots of extra plants. I misread our plan and started enough seeds for 32 of each variety, rather than realizing the total of 32 would mean only 16 of each variety. We have plenty to give away — if you are nearby and want some, let me know! These varieties should work in a (big) container with a cage, I think, if you are pressed for space.
The long, narrow row in front of this bed has 32 more tomatoes. These are planted closer together because they are our vining types. We will add a frame from which we hang twine that we will train each vine along. If we are diligent about puling suckers and keeping just a single vine winding up the twine, this will be enough space (this is a method suggested in The Square Foot Gardener and used by us with success in the past). In the foreground are Rose and farther down the row are Moskvich.
Speaking of Rose tomatoes, I also planted real roses this weekend. My rosa mundi plants arrived a couple weeks ago, but they need to be hardened off before we could plant them. It is on the right:
This is one side of a bed that has a "doorway" to the patio bisecting it. The other side is a mirror image of this, so from the center you have a row of lavender, then rhubarb, and then the rosebushes. Lavender and roses are a classic combination from Medieval times onward, but the rhubarb isn't exactly a typical flower companion.
Still, I think rhubarb is really a beautiful plant, with its outsized leaves and bright red stalks. The color should work with the flowers. I think we'll get a chance to see the color combination in action at least briefly this summer, as there is a lone bud waiting to open:
Hopefully the transplanting hasn't shocked this single flower out of commission and we get at least a taste of what is to come as this bush matures.