First off, I've been less than prolific posting about tomatoes this year. I'll try to do better in the future weeks.
Let's catch up first. My wife and I worked the Encino TomatoMania event last week. My wife worked Friday. I worked a little over a half day on Saturday and a full day Sunday. The seedling price was raised from $4.00 a seedling to $4.50 a seedling. Grafted tomatoes were sold this year at a $10.00 price point. I've been told that Friday was the best day ever "by far". It's not clear if that's due to total income or the total amount of seedlings sold (or both). Nevertheless the weather was good all three days. I was out in the field moving stock and I simply could not keep up.
Surprisingly I ran into an old client of mine. We had never actually met face to face before. It was a pleasant surprise to see him at TomatoMania.
As usual it was fun seeing the "groupies". It's hot exhausting volunteer work but that's true for everyone. We're all in the same boat.
So this weekend was planned to be devoted to planting some of our seedlings. That's right, we hadn't planted a single seedling yet. My wife thought that our soil level in the "koi pond" was too low, so on Saturday we went to Green Thumb in Canoga Park. We saw the end of Steve Goto's talk about tomatoes. Steve is a good speaker, very knowledgeable. We picked up a bunch of plants, about a half dozen more tomato seedlings and some bags of planter mix. But before we checked out, lo and behold, my old client showed up at Green Thumb! We met twice in the span of a week.
But we had tomatoes to plant. Oh, and other chores as well. We got home and took out all the materials. I raked back the hay in the "koi pond" to the north side, smoothed the dirt, then added the six bags of planter mix and smoothed the dirt again. Then I went to the post office, the dry cleaners, the bank, Lowe's, Walmart (to pick up Husky Cherry Red!), Petco and then back home. By then I was hungry. After eating...the sun had set. Darn it! Nothing planted.
So on to Sunday. Back to Green Thumb to buy more planter mix, tomato fertilizer and compost. I planted a Porkchop and then stopped because we were expecting company. The company came and went, back to planting. The next hole was a surprise (mostly dug before the first break) because there were a fair amount of rocks in the hole. That's a signature of our back yard but not our front yard. I filled up a one gallon bucket and parts of another bucket just with rocks from the hole. In this spot I planted a grafted Pierce's Pride. I planted the recently bought Husky Cherry Red in the next hole, followed by Hungarian Heart and Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red(1).
Then I had to stop and take a shower in preparation of more company. We had a blast in the evening with our friends celebrating Easter! Thoroughly enjoyable.
But we're off to a sloooow start this year. We only have five tomatoes in the ground. I plan to come home during the week and plant one or two before sunset, time permitting. We'll see how it goes.