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I’m so excited. My first tomato of the season is just starting to ripen. I can’t wait to taste it.
It’s the first year I’ve had a vegie garden since my 3yo daughter was born, and I’m like a proud parent.
I used to have a lovely garden bed in the back yard, but I got busy with motherhood and before I knew it, the grass had taken over, and the wood around the edges started to rot, so I gave it up as a lost cause.
This year, I finally found the time and the inspiration to start afresh. Despite the fact that we have a wonderfully large yard, I decided to try container gardening, to keep the grass that little bit further away from my vegies. And I figured if I started small, I might just manage to look after it.
The easiest and most rewarding vegetable plants I’ve ever grown are tomatoes. They self fertilise (so they set fruit easily, and almost never cross breed), they’re reasonably indestructible, and if you grow a heritage variety, like the “Tommy Toes” I’m growing this year, the plants produce masses of fruit, all the way from January to March. In fact, I’ve never had much success with any other variety except “Tommy Toe” – something to do with erratic watering I think – but these guys self seed all over our back yard, even in the face of complete and utter neglect. Now that’s my kind of plant.
And the “Tommy Toe” tomatoes would have to be one of the best tasting tomatoes on the planet, especially when you grow them yourself.
I’ve also planted zucchini, silverbeet, mint and peas in my fledgling vegetable garden, but the tomatoes are definitely doing the best of all.
I started the tomatoes in early September from seed I collected five years ago, and I was very impressed at the germination rate – out of 48 seeds, only three failed to come up. I grew them in jiffy pots inside our lovely warm house for four weeks, which was one week too long as it turns out. Next year I’ll harden them up after three weeks instead (and make sure I have the pots ready in time as well). I think they were doing so well inside that they ran out of food and stopped thriving so much.
I’m also pretty impressed with the self-watering pot I bought. I created my container garden from my raggle-taggle pot collection, but I really wanted to try something a little bigger. And I loved the idea of a pot that would smooth out the bumps of my erratic watering style. So my best and happiest tomato seedlings got my fancy new pot, and boy are they doing well now. So well, in fact, that they’re about to produce my first tomato of the season.
Only a few more days on the vine, and I get to taste my first home grown “Tommy Toe” for the year. I am really looking forward to it. Can you tell?
Now all I have to decide is, do I eat it straight off the bush or add it to a salad? Straight off the bush I think – there’s no way something that tasty would make it as far as the kitchen.
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