Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Whose Tomatoes?

This year I decided not to plant a tomato plant in my yard because one was planted for me.  Back in May, a little weed appeared.  It looked to be a tiny tomato plant.  Instead of pulling it out and tossing it in the compost pile, I left it there -just for fun- to see if it would grow into a real live tomato plant.

This is not the ideal spot for growing tomatoes, needless to say.   The location is inches from the driveway, smack next to well used paths leading to the yard and the garage.  Dogs and people and who knows how many other critters stomp regularly through this area.  Still, the little weed proved to be determined and hardy.  Soon it was several inches tall with multiple limbs and many many fruit bud clusters.  Feeling protective, I put a couple of short stakes beside it and attached an old shoe lace to encircle this resolute weed.

Some tomato growers advise that you trim off all branches that lack fruit buds.  This keeps the plant  focused on fruit production rather than wasting valuable resources on leaves.  Allowing the plant to grow willy-nilly, as I have done in the past, produces plants four feet tall that must be supported by sturdy stakes and coils and gates and string and whatnot.   Using the trimming method on the little tomato weed has produced a small sturdy plant brimming with fruit and fruit buds.  

Alas, the fruit is not yet ripe.  As all gardeners know, patience is part of the game.  Furthermore, we must accept (or at least acknowledge) the reality that the gardener cannot control everything that happens out there.

The other day a squirrel sat beside the tomato plant.  In his hands was a mauve colored tomato.  Interestingly, cherry tomatoes are perfectly sized for squirrel hands. No doubt about it, the tomato weed is a cherry tomato plant.  The squirrel took a bite out of the tomato.  No wonder all the tomatoes on the plant are green.  As soon as they begin to ripen Mr. Squirrel plucks them. 

Whose tomato is it anyway?  


  1. I wish I had a surprise cherry tomato plant. I do have a really interesting bushy fern coming up from a previous owner. It's a slow growing one but beautiful. Keep a look out for those darn tomato worms.

  2. It belongs to the squirrel, as far as he's concerned.