Monday, September 3, 2012

Confessions of a Tomatoholic, by Lisa Kahan

It wasn't just MY desire that drove me to have a greenhouse made. My family practically begged me to do it! Why, you might wonder? Well, because for the last five or so years I'd been co-opting the large window of the south-facing dining room in our small Seattle house in order to start my tomato seedlings.

Over the years, as my desire to have more and different types, my tomato starts went from window sill to dining room table pushed up against the window beginning in February and lasting into May. During that period I moved my tomatoes from tiny 72-seed starter trays into ever-increasing sized pots.

As the plants grew, we found ourselves dining with greenery all around us. I didn't mind this much because I love growing tomatoes, but I'm just one of four. So when I mentioned that I was considering having a greenhouse built, the idea was met with great enthusiasm, And when I announced that I had found someone who was both talented and affordable, the family said "Go for it."

So the tomato starts moved outdoors where I visited them often. My 10-year-old comes into the greenhouse to "help transplant" which she likes to do but which is particularly fun when it's rainy outside, warm inside, and we are nestled together with hundreds of tomato starts. 

This year, because of the greenhouse, I was able to grow over 300 tomato starts (plenty to share) as well as get a great start on cucumbers and squash. I've got even bigger plans for next year.

By Lisa Kahan