There’s so much to think about when gardening–soil, compost, fertilizer, water, sun, planting times–that once you’ve figured out a way that works, it’s easy to start thinking that’s the only way to do things. For instance, I’ve known for a long time that the time to start tomato seeds is 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost. Here that means the end of February. So when, in April, KeriAnn of Paisley Carrot sent me a lovely gift of seeds for Pearly Pink cherry tomatoes, I thought, Oh, it’s too bad I’ll have to wait until next year to try them. Silly me!
It’s true that if you want the longest possible harvest from your tomatoes, you should start them before the last frost, but here in Virginia, the tomato season is so long (4-5 months) that starting plants a couple of months late still gives you the opportunity to harvest quite a few tomatoes. Which is what I realized once I took a moment to question my preconceived notions about tomato growing.
So I planted some Pearly Pink seeds in a pot on April 21. May 7, I planted the strongest seedling into the garden. And on July 25, I had my first taste of this cute new variety. Even though I started it almost two months after my other tomato plants, it matured much faster–since it was growing outdoors the entire time, and growing during months when there’s more daylight.
All this is to say that it’s good to remember that there are very few hard and fast rules in gardening, and experimenting often pays off! Thanks for the Pearly Pinks, KeriAnn!
Update: While the Pearly Pinks grew and bore well, I have to say that I haven’t replanted this variety. It has an interesting look, but I didn’t find the tomatoes very flavorful. For cherry tomatoes, I much prefer the heirloom Riesentraube, available from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.