Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tomato-Plant Tenacity

We are gardeners. I can say that now, because we actually have a garden in our backyard and we actually work in it. That makes us gardeners. We have a beautifully designed garden with plots that are big enough to hold many plants, but that are small enough to manage. The garden has good drainage, good soil, and lots of sun. It is well-watered and weeded thanks to my first-born who may indeed have a green thumb. All in all, it has the makings of being a productive little bit of land. I can’t say we are good at gardening yet. Only time will tell, and at the time of this writing the jury is still out. There are lots of leaves and flowers, but not much fruit yet. However, it is only early July as I’m typing, so we’ll have to wait for the real harvest time to prove our worth.

But that lovely set of plots is not even the object of my attention and affection today. You see, in our enthusiasm for this new garden (or was it our lack of faith in our ability to keep things alive?) we bought a lot of tomato plants. A lot. Like, 25. They were tiny, and we figured some of them wouldn’t make it (we were right!) and we figured I really did want to can a lot of tomatoes if they all survived. And so we planted many, many tomatoes in the garden proper. But there were two more that just didn’t fit anywhere.

Or so we thought.

My husband stuck two in to our flowerbeds. Good idea. They get a little less sun there but they will be watered, and the thought was that if something died in the real garden we could transplant over one of these out of the flowerbeds. Good plan.

However, the other day, my seven-year old daughter decided to help weed the garden. And she yanked out “this really HUGE weed!” Um….oops. That was the tomato plant. See the flowers on it? See that it is, in fact, growing in a tomato cage? My eldest quickly tried to salvage the thing by replanting it as best as she could and watered it some more, but it looked pretty sickly. Especially disastrous was that this un-rooting happened at the beginning of a crazy heat wave in our neck of the woods. Even the well-established plants were suffering under the taxing heat. Surely this little guy with his roots all broken would never make it.

Please read the rest of my latest Heart Of the Matter Online Article here.

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