For the first time in 14 years of growing my own tomatoes from seed I have failed. At first, I just thought that the tomatoes were chilly in the basement under the lights so I moved them out to the greenhouse. When that didn't help I thought maybe they had a phosphorous deficiency and sprayed them with kelp spray. They haven't grown at all in a month and I knew I had to concede defeat. In the end, I think my beloved APS units were the cause of failure. I usually transplant the tomatoes from the smaller APS units to regular plastic pots but this year since I was going on vacation for 2 weeks in May I decided to transplant them into the larger APS units. I think that the tomatoes were too wet. Luckily, I have a wonderful local garden source, The Pure Gardener. They have a great selection of heirloom tomatoes. Some of them were the same variety that I had planted. My tomato season has been saved and I'll probably have tomatoes even earlier than if I had succeeded with my own. I don't have the heart to throw away my tomatoes just yet. The two Coustralle are actually looking like they are turning the corner so I may just plant them out and see what happens.
The first harvest from the garden this year is a bounty of rhubarb that I made into Rhubarb Jam with lime and ginger. This was my first attempt at canning jam and not just making freezer jam. I can hardly wait for some on toast in the morning! Lettuce should be coming soon as it's about thumb size right now. Hopefully this week I'll start planting out the broccoli,cauliflower and cabbage. It was too hot to plant out earlier last week as Chicago set a new record of 90 degrees on May 10th. I have to admit I wasn't ready for an instant summer but cooling down to a high of 47 degrees today was a bit silly.
I'm not an expert gardener by a long stretch but I do enjoy growing my plants from seed. I mostly do this because I'm a frugal gardener but I also appreciate how it helps get me through a long Midwest winter.