In the blink of an eye...

It looks like we've had our last cold snap, so I was moving some of my seedlings out to the cold frame for hardening off. I planned to transplant some of my early tomatoes into larger pots, and I set them on the potting table as I carried the others out back to the cold frame.
As we came back from the back yard, we being the Puppies O'Thunder and me, we startled a large black and white Tom that insists on courting my 16 year old, spayed-for-fifteen-years, cat. He dashed under the car, then scrambled across the potting table and over the fence. I could only watch in horror as he kicked the tray with my early tomatoes in it off the table, and it landed upside down on the ground.
Almost all the seedlings are broken just above the soil line. Out of twenty four early tomatoes, I know have six, and one of those might not make it. I buried the damaged part of the stem, but it was droopy this morning.
Two and a half months of tending and scheming and delighting in even tiny increments of growth, and it's almost all gone in the blink of an eye. Oh, it's not really the cat's fault, he's just doing what cats do; but if I could find the owner that allows an unneutered cat to roam free, I'd throttle them.
Penelope
--
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."
"ElissaAnn" < snipped-for-privacy@everybodycansing.com>
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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com writes:

So sorry, Penelope. :-(
If it were me, I'd still keep all of them potted (at their previous soil line); their root systems are still there and would have more strength than new seedlings. You may just have most of them recover and be up to what they would have been, only six or so weeks later. It's been amazing to me what has recovered after similar disasters. One year, my young "helper" broke off a branch of one of my heirloom tomatoes while I was caging it, the whole idea of getting help was to keep the branches from being broken. (He actually jammed the cage down on the fork between the branches.) Figuring it would have a chance if it was put in water versus no chance on the compost pile, I put it in water. It rooted and went on to give a good crop of tomatoes (after being planted, of course).
Last spring some idiot broke off my three-year-old paw-paw tree to nearly ground level. They grow so very slowly that it's discouraging. I wrote it off as gone but decided to continue to care for it and it is growing, amazingly. It will never catch up to its sibling but it will still look impressive by the time they are 15! Who knows, maybe eventually it will catch up.
Though not relying on them recovering, give it a try. You may be richly rewarded. They say by the end of July, you can't tell which tomatoes were set out in the garden in April or May, or something like that. Truth is that I cannot tell which tomatoes were set out three inches high and eight inches high by the end of July, and no difference in yield by mid-August. In fact, I think the smaller ones did better though not quite as early, and I've planted same varieties side by side to test it.
Good luck! After all, the dratted weeds keep growing if the roots are still there, and tomatoes are as hardy as many weeds.
{{{ Penelope's tomatoes }}}
Glenna
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On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 08:36:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

Yeah, the perils of gardening.

Therein lies the problem. I know most of them will come back, but they were my early tomatoes. One, Sophie's Choice won't even make it once the summer heat hits. I planted these two varieties (Sophie's Choice and Stupice) because they tolerate colder weather better than a lot of tomatoes. They're my first wave, and, with a little luck, I would have had a large crop of vine ripened tomatoes in May instead of late June.
I've got a few more Stupice in my second wave of tomatoes, I always plant plenty of Stupice because it's very reliable all season; but this was the first year for the SC tomatoes. Only two of them survived.
So, I agree with you, but it ain't gonna get me bragging rights for the first ripe tomato.
Penelope
--
You have proven yourself to be the most malicious,
classless person that I've encountered in years.
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Penelope Periwinkle On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 08:36:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.or
(Glenna Rose) wrote:
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com writes:
Almost all the seedlings are broken just above the soil line. Out of twenty four early tomatoes, I know have six, and one of those might not make it. I buried the damaged part of the stem, but it was droopy this morning.
So sorry, Penelope. :-(
Yeah, the perils of gardening.
If it were me, I'd still keep all of them potted (at their previou soil line); their root systems are still there and would have more strength than new seedlings. You may just have most of them recover and be u to what they would have been, only six or so weeks later.
Therein lies the problem. I know most of them will come back, but they were my early tomatoes. One, Sophie's Choice won't even make it once the summer heat hits. I planted these two varieties (Sophie's Choice and Stupice) because they tolerate colder weather better than a lot of tomatoes. They're my first wave, and, with a little luck, I would have had a large crop of vine ripened tomatoes in May instead of late June.
I've got a few more Stupice in my second wave of tomatoes, I always plant plenty of Stupice because it's very reliable all season; but this was the first year for the SC tomatoes. Only two of them survived.
So, I agree with you, but it ain't gonna get me bragging rights for the first ripe tomato.
Penelope
-- You have proven yourself to be the most malicious, classless person that I've encountered in years. - "pointed" snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
sorry to hear about your tomatoes penelope:(. its so hard sometimes t try and get things to go the way u want them thats for sure. i hop that they all come back for u again. good luck sockiescat:)
-- sockiescat
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On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 09:41:16 -0500, Penelope Periwinkle

How sad and frustrating. I, too, had a cat problem a couple of weeks ago but not anywhere near as serious as yours. Despite advice to the contrary (too late) I planted peas. I'm using the tomato cages for them to climb on. Shortly after I'd planted there was this little orange cat out there digging in the good dirt to do the other thing that cats do. I scatted it away, poked the seeds that had been heaped to the top back down in the dirt. Next day there was the danged cat again happily digging away again. Poke, poke again with the now germinated peas. I finally got some chicken wire to cover the pea plot. It was pretty funny watching the cat the first time s/he came around to use the facilities after I'd put the wire down. Very puzzled cat. Sue

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Good solution. ;-)
Works against squirrels too.
--
Peace, Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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On Thu, 30 Mar 2006 12:22:50 -0600, OmManiPadmeOmelet

I'm wondering if unaged cat manure is of any use. :o)

No squirrels around here. Sue
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