When I was in graduate school and living in an apartment, I had a garden on my patio. For a patio garden, it was a rather large one, and practically free for me to supply and upkeep, since through my graduate program I had access to free plants from yield trials for everything from tomatoes to peppers to herbs to peas and anything else that could grow in a bin on a patio. I looked forward to the fresh produce every year, and gardening itself was one of my most relaxing and enjoyable activities.
And then, I finished graduate school and started having kids. My son had priority over a garden, and besides, he needed the patio space to play. By the time I had my daughter, we were looking for a house, and I was excited about the idea of starting another garden, outside, of my very own.
And this year, the second year we’ve lived in our house, I started that garden. Only the very beginnings of it – two tomato plants I bought for $3 each already grown into small plants. Someday, when my children are a little bigger, I want to grow plants from seedlings in my sunroom and transplant them outside, but with a 1 year old afoot that would be a recipe for disaster. So I;ve started small, with a Roma tomato plant and a Beefsteak tomato plant. I planted them two months ago in wooden buckets on the edge of our front walkway, and have watered them and given them soil ever since.
The Roma plant has done well from the start, and has been producing tomatos for several weeks now. None are ripe yet, but the very first are starting to turn shiny and red. The Beefsteak plant seemed to be a failure – the edges of the leaves seemed to yellow a bit, and flowers came and went without any sign of fruit. But this week, it has started producing little tiny tomatoes. I don’t know what will become of them, but it is a step in the right direction for sure.
With weird warnings about tomatoes in the news lately, I’ve been afraid to buy them at the store, so I can’t wait to harvest my very own. Hopefully pretty soon, we’ll have our own Roma tomatoes, and later this summer, some Beefsteak as well. I am sure we’ll end up with more tomatoes than the initial $6 investment. And next summer – I’m digging up the back flower beds and putting in some more veggies. As long as I can figure out how to outwit the herds of neighborhood bunnies…
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