I’m not feeling the poems this week, so I thought I would just write…
I think I’ve mentioned here that I like tomatoes.
In a general sense, I think I am infatuated with the idea of growing something out of nothing (or a small thing)…wanting to be a creator of something. I think this is an innate desire that drives people to achieve. My past “experiments” with tomatoes included growing them in various size planters. I moved them around to maximize sunlight, watered them religiously, gave them plant food every couple of weeks. I think I did this in an attempt to control the plant…I know I “wanted” it to grow. Granted, I didn’t have a suitable planting area in the ground until this year. I even purchased plants that were genetically engineered for a patio/porch environment. This achieved limited success with a crop yield. Maybe 6 or 8 tomatoes. I was very keen on controlling the situation and getting the plants to grow under my supervision and plan.
Can you micromanage a tomato plant?
This year I dug a large bed in our back yard and left a suitable space (about 3 sq. feet) for tomato plants. I planted three (2 grape tomato variety, and one regular plant) during Memorial Day weekend. Save for one dowsing with some miracle food (which I have always done, even when plants were in large pots), I have done nothing unusual in the care of these plants. Granted, it has been somewhat rainy in Ohio this summer, and temperatures have not been too extreme.
You’d have thought that the alien plant from “Little Shop of Horrors” was growing in my yard. So far there are no missing animals in my neighborhood.
I would expect the grape tomatoes to grow everywhere…it’s like a vine and gives you clusters of tomatoes (hence the name), and it is overtaking the neighboring rose bush. But I did not expect this from the “normal” plant. The tomato stalk/stems are spreading every which way. Obviously a sympodial stem… Ultimately what has stuck out in this exercise is that I have done very little with these plants except add a taller stake in the ground every 6 or 7 days to keep the stems from crushing under their own weight. The tomato yield is going to be phenomenal. I count at least a dozen fist sized tomatoes, with smaller ones popping up every other day.
I suppose if one were to have a take away lesson from this it would be:
Don’t constrain the garden with your idea of how it should grow. Plan it, plant it, give it some nourishment now and then, keep an eye on it, and let it grow.
If you think about how other things flourish…
plants, animals, and people
this is a successful management strategy.