Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

Heirloom tomato seedlings in a window

It’s almost spring and for an edible gardener, that usually comes down to three things: starting, transplanting, and then loving on those luscious summer tomatoes! Are you ready?!

The five little things that made my week…

1. Heirloom tomato seedlings doing their morning stretch in front of the window. I’ve started eight varieties this season in a rainbow of colors from yellow to blue! (Which variety are you most excited about?)

Volunteer tomato seedlings

2. But why do I even bother seeding tomatoes when these little volunteers are threatening to take over my strawberry planter? It’s a funny story, actually. We usually keep a soaking tub in the sink for dirty dishes, then empty the gray water into our garden. (It’s California and we’re in a drought; every drop counts!) I guess we must have soaked a salsa bowl at some point. They’re mystery volunteers and I’m curious to see what kind of fruits we’ll get in a few months!

Young tomato plant

3. Somehow through all the holiday hubbub and a very busy winter, we missed this hefty tomato start that was growing on the other side of our strawberry planter! It’s grown just under a foot tall and still going strong.

Volunteer tomato plants

4. Speaking of volunteers, I’ve written about the wild tomato patch in the lower part of my yard (what I like to call a “naturalized garden,” but is really just a junk yard for pallets, wood logs, old chairs, and other things we collect from our neighbor’s curbs). I’ve been letting those tomatoes self-seed every year for the past few years, and aside from the occasional residual watering, they don’t get much attention. But they totally thrive every year from spring through winter! In fact, last year’s plants are just now dying back and in their place, a dozen more have popped up already. The largest volunteer is almost two feet tall!

Tomato blossoms

5. Our first tomato blossoms! They’ve managed to survive a couple of cold spells (and curious chickens) this winter, so they’re already proving to be quite hardy.

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »