When my Dad gave me my annual batch of his homegrown tomato seedlings (and then so kindly planted them for me one weekend while he house-and-dog sat), it was made very clear that not only was I obligated to care for them, nurture them, and harvest them, but I was also charged with providing regular updates on their growth and health, god-forbid the precious grand-baby tomatoes hit a rough patch.
My parents don’t live nearby, after all. They were relying heavily on the occasional photo and visit to make sure I was holding up my end of the bargain. So, here you have it: Evidence of my green thumb.
The extreme heat in late June and July did wonders for them. I watered daily, since it rarely rained, and they flourished. Despite having gone into the ground a month later than usual and not having the same incentive to grow vertically as in previous years (I still haven’t gotten around to installing a trellis, but it’s not too late yet), they’ve rocked out and appear to be on par with most other gardeners in the area. The cherry tomatoes stand easily foot above my head.
Remember what they looked like in June?
Here they are today! (Also, not a bad before and after of the garage wall, which I painted not too long ago. There are some hot peppers and lime basil tucked in there too, all of which latched onto the earth and began to flourish wonderfully, but are mostly covered by the tomatoes.)
Miscellaneous interjection: You know that Cody likes being in the spotlight. He’s usually garbling in Dog-ese, like I pointed out in a photo of him howling a few weeks ago when I brought this big plant home.
No surprise, he photo-bombed my tomato shoot and I snapped his super-cute pre-howl nose wrinkle that’s his sure tell of emotion:
Anyways, where was I? Wednesday marked the first harvest. A nice plum variety, they would have been delish on my salad for dinner if they hadn’t had some strange infection on the bottom. What causes this? They weren’t resting on the ground or anything.
I’ve been referring to it kindly as “tomato butt rot”.
On the other side of the yard, other veggies are also thriving. In June, I dropped a few seeds in a cleared garden bed to see what would happen. Cautiously, I did label each section of seed so I could see what would grow:
Unfortunately, the sharpie marker washed away during the next rainstorm, so all I know is that I have scallions on one end, and pumpkins on the other. But there’s lots happening in the middle. I believe that’s a member of the squash family crawling it’s way out across the yard.
The zinnias, nasturtiums, and black-eyed susans are also finally beginning to add some color to my open shelves and kitchen table. I love the yellows and orange accents, you know. You can tell, because the frames on these open shelves were painted with my favorite very inexpensive paint.
Last year, my zinnias stood as tall as me in my front yard, and bloomed into November; this year they’re in the backyard and a little squattier, but gradually increasing in flower production.
So, how does your garden grow?