First time I heard this phrase “tomato release day” I was “what the heck does that mean”. In my mind I visualized tomato plants running on their roots (feet) with their branches swaying back and forth, as if they were set free from captivity….kind of like an “end of the world” scene from a movie. I was at Goose Cove Gardens in Gloucester and I was inquiring when the tomato plants would be ready for purchase. Tomato plants like warm weather, the hotter the better! Planting them earlier then consistent warm (60+) temps (day & night) does them no favors. Interestingly, you can plant them earlier, but they will produce no more tomatoes than when planted later!
They pretty much just sit in the ground and shiver Barbara Dombrowski (and husband Hilary), the owner(s) and operator(s ) (janitor..to CEO) of Goose Cove Gardens for over 20 years does her best to insure the success of her customers and impart her plant wisdom to all of us Cape Ann gardeners. One of the ways she has done this is by making sure we don’t plant her products at the wrong time. Goose Cove Gardens grows organically and features a fabulous supply of heirloom tomato plants. This philosophy has resulted in the famed “Tomato Release Day” at Goose Cove Gardens. Tomato Release Day is the Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend. Yes, it is very busy, yes the small parking lot is jammed, yes it is the best time to plant your tomato plants on Cape Ann and yes there are plants left to buy on Thursday! Not around the week before Memorial Day or too busy? Not only does Barbara do an excellent job of meeting demand, she does another tomato release day two weeks later!