Monthly Archives: July 2011

Disorganization is good

Paper towels. With snowflakes.

At least the paper towels are cool

It’s July in South Jersey. It’s supposed to be hot. But this hot? Break-the-record-several-days-in-a-row hot? A couple of days of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit hot – for you Celsius folks, that’s like a human running a dangerously high fever?

No. No, no, no.

What to do? If you’re me, there’s a little relief in the cabinet under the sink. The brand of paper towel I like has been selling rolls of towels with seasonal designs – spring flowers, sunbursts, and last winter sledding penguins and snowflakes.

Guess what I found under the sink? Yep, snowflake paper towels. Bought at least five months ago. Back in the days of heaps and mounds of snow everywhere. Back when we wished it would get hot.

An organized person would have used them months ago, too, instead of buying more and sticking them in the cabinet in front of the towels I already had. An organized person wouldn’t be able to cool her kitchen with these lovely wintry towels. Luckily, I am not an organized person.

All right, it’s only symbolically cool. But this summer, I’ll settle for symbolism.

She’s back, with apologies and more tomatoes

And now it’s July. Almost August. I think I’ll start by (mostly) wrapping up the Tale of the Tomatoes.

When last heard of, there were nearly sixty tomato seedlings looking for a home. What happened to the ones I didn’t give to specific friends? About three-quarters of them went to church. And, during coffee hour, they all got adopted. Whew. I’ve heard that some of them are doing well.

After that, I took the biggest and smallest seedlings – the ones I kept for myself – and started planting. That’s when I learned why Sue the Master Gardener told me to discard the tiny ones.

Helpful Household Hint #2: Listen to Sue. Or whoever your local expert may be.

One of the “how to grow tomatoes” web sites I read claimed that little plants are good, because they put all their energy into growing lots of roots instead of wasting it on stalks and leaves. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The big plants had filled their drinking-cup pots with roots. The tiny plants had tiny root balls, about the size of a pea. Not good.

I planted them anyhow – why not, at that point? – and within a few days the minis had shriveled away to nothing. Still, the husky weight-lifter plants kept growing and growing, and here’s a portrait of how they look now:

They're not very big, and they're very green, but they're definitely tomatoes

More flowers! More tomatoes?

They’re nearly as tall as I am (with a little help from stakes and tomato cages). Quite a change from March, when they looked like this –

Heirloom tomato seedlings just after sprouting

Tomato seedlings, only four days after planting the seeds