Absolute madness

It is the day after Valentines.

The middle of February.

At work, the first tomatoes have arrived.

We are collectively mystified that they were even available this early. As you may know, growing tomatoes in San Francisco is difficult at the best of times. This is why we usually get our starts at the end of March- the weather has warmed up enough that if we have a warm summer the tomatoes will be ok.

And even then they often aren’t! Personally I wouldn’t put in a start til the end of April- you can buy a gallon one instead of a little tyke if you want a head start.

Growing tomatoes this early is madness.

Turns out I’m a bit of a kook.

Look- yes, this is nuts- but I have a plan.

The best tomatoes for San Francisco are the ones bred for either our area or other colder parts of the world. This is a newer variety called “Petaluma Purple”.

Petaluma is only a little but north of us. The variety is also a medium globe- a good size for colder weather climates.

Also, under no circumstances is this little guy going into a bed.

See the way I figure it, it’s too cold at night for a tomato. So I’m going to get the good rich soil and pot it up in an old gallon, and take in at night!

The other advantage of a plastic gallon pot is that I can squeeze the sides to check for root development, and only put it in a bed when it’s ready for it.

I didn’t bury it as deep as you would in a permanent home- it only has so many leaves at this tender age. I did pinch off the two bottom ones though.

See this I don’t like. That’s not a very developed root ball. This tomato is frankly too young to be planted in a large bed.

Of course you know they’ll sell like hotcakes. People love tomatoes.

Anyways my baby tomato is potted up and ready to soak up those warm warm 55 degree rays.

I’ll commit to taking it in at night and we’ll see if this works.

But seriously- starting your tomatoes in February is madness.

Don’t be me.

3 thoughts on “Absolute madness

  1. Petaluma Purple?! Seriously? I would grow it just because of the name. Petaluma gets rather warm in the summer, and their spring might start earlier than in San Francisco.

    1. cross between a Cherokee purple and a “Thomas Jefferson” But it looks like it’s a proprietary experiment of sweetwater nursery and I can’t find anything about what a “Thomas Jefferson” is. And I think it’s proper name is “Petaluma Hill Purple” and it WAS *supposedly* bred in SF. I am all sort of confused- but like you- I could not resist that name!

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