Our house has two wooden barrel-like buckets in front, one on either side of the end of our front walk. Last year I tried growing some ecologically-friendly wildflowers in them, and it kind of looked like I was growing weeds. Which, I sort of was. So this year I decided I was going to do something different. In late spring, I bought two young tomato plants for ~$3 each at Aldi. One was the Roma variety and one was a Beefsteak. Those buckets have always looked to me like tomato plants belonged in them. I planted one in each bucket, added extra potting soil, and watered them every non-rainy day. A few weeks ago I reported on my progress, and said that some of the tomatoes were shiny and about to turn red.
Well, it took them a little longer than I expected from that day, but yesterday I harvested the very first Roma tomatoes. I picked one and cut it in half, and it looked ripe inside and out, so I picked the other two from that bunch. And ripe they were, and tasty too! We had tomato and onion salad as well as some slices just plain. It was so exciting!
About 4 more tomatoes have turned mostly red and should be ready to pick in the next day or so. The Roma plant, in total, has approximately 35 tomatoes, the rest still green but bigger by the day. The Beefsteak is not doing anywhere near as well, but does have 12 green tomatoes of varying sizes right now.
Tomatoes this week at my grocery store were $2.49/lb. So if I harvest 2.5 lbs of tomatoes, I will more than cover the cost of the original plants, and since the potting soil was left here by the house’s previous owners, that cost me nothing. I don’t know how much an individual tomato weighs, and I was too impatient to eat these to find out. But my spouse has a food scale on the way to help him with his ongoing food plan, so I will start using that once it arrives to record my crop. No more buying tomatoes this summer for us! And hopefully I’ll have enough for some homemade tomato sauce by the end of the summer.
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