greenhouse. It happened by accident the first time - now I do it on purpose. In the fall, I always have leftover tomato plants - even ones left gangly and sad in a 2 1/2" pot. In this case - the tomato is in the 2 1/2" and the volunteer Mache is in the bigger pot in the foreground. It is on a shelf on the middle of the north wall, in between the two groups of water barrels. This is a very stable place but since my greenhouse (The Little Greenhouse That Could), is not designed to grow warm weather vegetables in winter like Cord's is, I am always curious to see just how far I can push the limits. So a warm weather plant like a tomato is the perfect test subject.
I cannot throw away a plant, so the night of the first freeze, all remaining leftover plants come in to the greenhouses to see what I might do with them. Many die this way - due to my neglect and abuse, so the ones that remain, or rather, the one that remained, is golden.
Why? Because it has not only adapted to the rigors of the winter greenhouse, it is showing cold tolerance, adaptability, even determination. But best of all, it is showing what The Little Greenhouse That Could can do on a given year. Mother Russia stayed alive through every deep cold that came through, sometimes looking like it came close to freezing, but somehow, as the day wore on and the greenhouse heated up, the dreaded smell of frozen and now rotting plants, did not come and Mother Russia raised her little head and carried on.
And then it bloomed, and then in the spring I planted it in early in the same greenhouse but now in the front bed, near the glazing, a more unstable area. And she grabbed hold of the ground and started digging in deep showing me glorious dark green leaves, new growth and beautiful blossoms. She set large, beefsteaky tomatoes, as big as your hand.
I learned a long time ago to let the greenhouse show me what it can do - rather than expecting too little out of it. I guess I learned it with leftover tomato plants too - and then did it again.
I like it. I'm not getting tired of my miraculous thermometer tomatoes. Try it - leave a plant in your winter greenhouse that you know will be killed the first time the temps drop low - and watch and see what makes it. I'm thrilled to see Black From Tula survive this very cold winter and the seed I glean from this plant will hold memories of cool-weather adaption - very helpful in the mountain garden.
I will sink it in deeply when I plant it and give it a drink of kelp and then let nature take it's course. Glorious black tomatoes early, early, early. Oh - and by the way - I have very little seed as I grew it for the nursery last year and I sold most of the seed I did have to Seeds Trust - you can get limited quantities from me and more from them.
Check out what this plant will give me shortly - oooolalala!!!