On Friday, we went to the town Farmer’s Market and bought eight tomato plants. We got Cherry Roma, Sunsugar, Early Cascade, German Johnson, Dixie Golden Giant, Amana Orange Heirloom, Djena Lee’s Golden Girl, and Aunt Ruby’s German Green.
In previous years, we had tried to grow tomatoes in pots. It just doesn’t work very well. The plants don’t have enough room for their roots, or they don’t get enough nutrients, or something. I’m not sure the reason, but we’ve never gotten more than a few tomatoes off each potted plant. So this year, we have a spot to put them in the ground.
Chef had helped me to pull up all the tiger lilies and Japanese spurge and I replanted most of the lilies of the valley that were in the small plot where we wanted to put the tomatoes. Saturday evening, with our tomato plants ready to be in the ground and our ground ready for the plants, Chef helped me get our future tomatoes into the soil. And by helped me, I mean he did all the hard work and I took photos, handed him plants, and made a map of where we put each plant in the plot.
Our little neighborhood friend, Dennis the Menace, watched and gave advice until it was time to go work on his soapbox derby car.
Chef worked up the soil, dug holes, and got four plants installed in the back row of the plot. This was not as easy as it might sound because there were a lot of rocks in the dirt. Rocks about half the size of my fist, and there must have been over 100 of them. Seriously. Not to mention the bricks we had been storing underneath all those tiger lilies for when we might use them for something someday. The rocks and the bricks went into the trash can, and I’m thankful that as I write this, they are on their way to the landfill.
Loosening all that soil can be backbreaking work… unless you have the Garden Claw! We got our Garden Claw from Chef’s brother, and this is lucky because it’s Not Sold in Stores. It doesn’t really work as well As Seen On TV, but it does keep you from having to bend down to dig.
Chef very lovingly put each plant into the soil.
Finally, all eight plants were in the ground.
Most of the plants already have flowers, and one has tiny green tomatoes on it. We are keeping a log to track when we get fruit from each one, and what we like or don’t like about each flavor. We chose our varieties kind of blindly this year, although we did have help from the farmer selling the plants. Next year, I hope we’ll be able to make more educated decisions.
Now, bring on the sun! Happy tomato season, everyone!