A fresh ripe tomato just picked from a vine growing in your own garden, if there is a sweeter taste in life, I'd like to know what that might be. Tomatoes have always been a favorite thing to grow in the backyard. I usually have two or three plants in the ground and growing by now. I am way behind, or am I?

Okay, I am way behind.

The optimum time for getting tomatoes in the ground is from the middle of March through the middle of April. I figured since the weather has been a little cooler than normal that waiting wouldn't be that big of a deal. It isn't if you choose a nice heat resistant variety of tomato to plant. So it looks like I will be turning the dirt and dropping in a variety such as the Heatwave, Bella Rosa, Sunchaser, or Sun Leaper. This varieties tend to be more tolerant of temperatures in the 90's.

The reasons gardeners and tomato enthusiast such as myself like to get an early start on the planting is part science and part selfish. The selfish part is the earlier you plant, the sooner you get to eat. The science part has to do with an increased insect and pest population during the Summer months plus many plants don't flower and fruit quite as prolifically as they do in the slightly cooler months of Spring.

Regardless, I am headed to nursery to get some plants to drop in my tiny garden later today. I am hoping that my mostly sunny spot with just enough shade will give me the right amount of tomatoes to enjoy into the early months of fall.