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Hot or cold

February 21, 2020
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Gardeners who like it hot. Gardeners who like it cold, are lucky this year. Wow, same temperature zone but two levels of the temperature charts now giving us a weekly time to work or rest.

We do need to remember the lack of regular rain does influence the life of our gardens.

Hot or cold plants still need a fair amount of water to keep growing.

Cold, a little slower; hot and sunny, a sprint of growth.

I have one tough problem this year in my City Hall garden. I decided to be brave and grow a black cherry tomato plant. I swear I had never eaten or been offered a black cherry tomato. You will see them nowadays in a bag of several colored baby tomatoes in the market. One of my gardening friends actually pointed that out to me after I was bragging.

I planted it about 2 months late, in my usual procrastinating habit.

I also enclosed it inside a bright red tomato cage. A good thing I did. It grew very very fast and has topped the cage and is sprawled all over the garden plot.

It seemed to be taking forever to get anything but lots of green and flowers. Finally it started producing perfect large clusters of little rock-hard green balls of fruit. Not edible. It needed more sun to be able to ripen.

Finally a few did ripen and they taste really great. They are not sweet, but more of a savory flavor. They are not real black, kind of a dirty black, and not hard. Planted at the proper season, they would be nice and black.

Try them.

Just remember, knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting them in a fruit salad!

Happy gardening till we meet again.

H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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