Cool, rainy growing season delays future heirloom tomato plants

The cool weather this season has got me worried about my tomatoes. These are not ordinary tomatoes, they are my own strain that I have been propagating for seven years.

Back in the spring, I started the seeds a little later than I should have but wasn’t concerned. In a normal growing season they would have had plenty of time to mature and produce the seeds I need to continue my strain.

This year, it looks like it will be nip and tuck for these tomatoes — no tomatoes , no seeds. Unfortunately, these are the last of my seeds. I have no more in storage so I really need the plants to produce.

Night time temperatures into the upper forties have slowed down the development of these tomatoes.

My future heirloom tomatoes are just beginning to form blossoms.

My plan now is to build small plastic tents ┬áto help raise the temperature during the day and keep them warm overnight. Hopefully, that will push them along enough to produce tomatoes and allow me to continue my variety. If not, I have a plan B. I’m growing a few in pots that I can move indoors in the fall and get seeds that way.

With any luck, in a few decades, my grandchildren will have their very own heirloom variety.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.