grape tomato

I’m feeling really good this afternoon. I’m happy to announce that, because I’ve had a few too many days recently in which this was not the case. And as I was meandering in my garden today, just snatching up tiny weeds that had managed to push their way through inches of mulch; I noticed something else that reinforces this really good feeling: RED tomatoes!

** Brief gardening flashback **
Last year I planted tomatoes for the first time in my life. I struggled with them all season. First, I thought I had planted them too late. Then I didn’t realize I needed to pluck the suckers — and honestly, I didn’t really know what a sucker was. My beefsteaks got blight and the plant was pretty much a hot mess. And then, the birds and bugs ate what was left. Basically, anything that could go wrong with tomatoes did. I had minimal success with a blue tomato plant that I had purchased from my local farmers market by mistake.

Needless to say, I was reluctant to try my green thumb at tomatoes again this year. But, in the springtime my favorite farmers market had these cute little tomato plants (of all kinds) on sale. I couldn’t resist grabbing a couple and just taking another whack at growing them.

This time around I was determined to learn from my mistakes. I watched endless gardening videos on YouTube and read everything I could about growing tomatoes. I amended my soil in the raised beds with compost. I got rid of suckers as soon as I saw them and planted garlic, basil and marigolds nearby. (Thanks for the great advice, Bren!)

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Soon, my grape tomato plant was becoming a monstrosity. I really can’t believe how much it has grown. (I’m kicking myself for not nabbing pics of it when I first planted it!) It is now dripping with dozens of tiny little tomatoes. I’ve had to train the branches to grow inside the cage, because it was rubbing up against it’s dainty little neighbor, Basil.

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This Early Girl Blush Tomato plant is trying to keep up with the grape tomatoes. Look at these gorgeous globes! I’m anxiously awaiting the day when I walk out to pull weeds and see these babies glistening with that ripe, red hue.

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Ahh! Red tomatoes are a sigh of relief to me. I did something right! My efforts have paid off. These successes in the garden lift my spirits. Gardening really IS the best therapy.

Life Lessons from my Tomato Plant

* Be patient.
* Fail forward. When one plan doesn’t work, try something else.
* A good support system is vital.
* Keep good friends close by.

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