Yesterday, I picked the first tomatoes from our little garden. It’s been an odd year for gardening, and what originally began as a plan to have a variety of vegetables in our garden turned into a large mass of cherry tomato plants.
Last year, we grew snap peas, zucchini and summer squash, six varieties of cherry tomatoes, carrots and a few edible flowers. We had decent success with everything and as it was the inaugural year of our edible garden, we thought we were pretty good at tending it. Then this year hit, and we were forced to think again. Nature has its way of telling you who’s the boss!
First it was an exceptionally rainy April, and my little seedlings didn’t seem to like the fact there was barely any sun to be found. Then, while weathering our baby plants on the front porch, I came back from the farmer’s market to find that a bird or other animal had decided to pick them apart. After we waterproofed the side of our house where the vegetable garden would be, the weather became exceedingly hot and dry and I could barely stand to spend any time outside. And then, wonder of wonders – tomato plants began to spring up everywhere.
At first we thought we’d just pick some of them off to clear room for carrots, but as the hot weather wore on and they grew rapidly, we thought better of it and just let them be. After all, the soil that remained after our contractor finished waterproofing was full of clay and we’d have to dig down a bit to replace all of that with looser, richer soil for carrots – not to mention, the existing tomato plants looked so much healthier and larger than the seedlings we had finally gotten going. We must have missed picking quite a few tomatoes last year, and the seeds must have been spread around when our contractor dug up all the earth by our house. Passive gardening was the way this year would play out.
The first tomatoes to ripen were of the black cherry variety (as shown). They are incredibly sweet and juicy, and this variety yields a lot of fruit. I’m hoping we’ll have a good mix of the others we planted last year – some of them were pretty unusual.
Do you have a veggie garden? What are you growing this year?