The first time I spotted the swollen green fruits on my 'Better Boy' tomato plant last week, I began to understand the yearly addiction that many hobby tomato growers must surely succumb. I'm one of them now. I gushed to my husband, my dogs, the chickens, "Look! Baby tomatoes!" as if it were me that somehow brought this miracle to life. Yes, I grew this now pregnant plant from seed, I'm thinking. Each day I go and check the progress of these little green wonders, finding more and more fleshy orbs to my amazement.
Now if I can just keep them unharmed from bugs, blight, predators, fence-jumping chickens... Okay, this is a bit like parenting isn't it? Of course they have their own agenda as they grow every which way and although I planted the seeds myself and fed them, well, I can't take credit for much else. Although I do spray them with organic fungicide and bug repellant (from Gardens Alive) about once a week. And I do water them deeply every 2 or 3 days from a drip hose. Also, I made sure they were planted where they'll receive at least 8 hours of sun each day. And, lastly, I have tied them to bamboo teepee stakes so their fruits won't ripen on the ground. Beyond that they're on their own. I figure that it's not "hands-off" gardening, growing these most heralded of fruiting vegetables. But it's not difficult if you give them an environment in which they'll thrive:
sun, deep soaks, healthy soil and a bit of guiding along their climb. I can learn from these tomatoes, I believe. I mean my kids do very well with the same philosophy.
There are more things fruiting and thriving in the garden beyond my teenaged tomatoes. The new blackberry plant is setting it's first berry, as is the young raspberry. Yes, I announced that arrival to anyone within earshot as well. My cat, Lucky, is making her name an honest one as she pretends she's Wilderness Kitty in the giant swaths of Mexican Feather Grass. And the four goldfish have really outdone themselves. Who knows who's the mother or father, but they have a dozen babies between them and they certainly drum up the most excitement among my family easily out-shining my tomatoes for the wow factor.
True, the baby goldfish are fascinating to watch as they compete with the four big guys for food and for their lives as not to get eaten by, gasp, it's own mother! I guess once my little green tomatoes turn red, I'll be doing the same thing.
Where's Wilderness Kitty?