Don’t worry, it’s all in my head. In June, when all this snow and ice is but a memory I will be digging a hole for a tomato plant I plan to plant, a special plant that I hope will escape the evil fungus that encourages blossoms to blossom, to attract friendly bugs to pollinate them and produce those little green globes that will soon grow large and then red–that’s the bad part, or can be. My soil has already proved itself a haven for a fungus known more specifically, and more picturesquely, as Blossom End Rot. And there are those of you who also shudder at the thought of it. I think the worst part is when all unknowing you stick your thumb into the blackened juices.
It’s been thirteen years now since a waiting family gave me looks of dissatisfaction, very critical looks and even statements such as, “Why didn’t you spray.”
Well I couldn’t say that because I don’t and never did spray. But I also had to tell them they were speaking out of ignorance. There was no spray that could stop Blossom End Rot.
All that is destined to change. I have bought a new Composter from the Otsego County Cooperative Extension. Come June I will have bought a brand new bag of Bone meal. And I plan, perhaps with an exaggerated idea of my own gardening power, to plant a plant that will resist Blossom End Rot. And this is how I will do it.
First I will buy two tomato plants on Memorial Day. I can’t grow seeds in my sunless windows. I will do this (kind of superstitious of me) on June 2, my birthday. On that day I will water my new plants thoroughly, go to the bed I intend to plant them in and dig a hole two feet deep. The soil here isn’t so bad really but we have to change it drastically. Now comes the tricky part. I’ll fill a third of the hole with some of the waiting compost. Now a layer of Bone Meal. Stir well. Add water and stir again. For the third application put a couple of shovels full of the old soil and finish with compost and bone meal. Now, two feet apart and five inches down, draw a trench and remove the plants from their pots and trim off the branches to within an inch or two of the top. Cover it all with compost and water thoroughly patting the soil firmly to remove any air that might be caught in the soil. I’m afraid to let my winter imagination go any farther into June for fear I’ll jinx my job, but this is the way I’ll do it. Oh yes and I’ll plant two tall poles for my tomato plants to climb. Keep me in your thoughts and I’ll let everybody know the outcome toward the end of July.
The chickens have started laying again. Isn’t that a sign that the old climate hasn’t deserted us yet. I’m filled with hope, even as they talk over CNN tonight of the deterioration of events in Libya. We will keep the faith.