Walter Mencken 2:02 p.m., May 23
The sight almost knocked me over
Not literally but figuratively
As I rounded the front corner of the mobile to water the hollyhocks,grapes and tomatoes
The tomatoes had grown so tall and luxurious in just a week I was bamboozled by their splendor
WAIT!!!...I was the gardener...right!!
Me of the black hand,the spindly tomatoes 2 years ago.the insect eaten holey leaves, the "where the hell's my water today" plants
Standing before me in a large previously used tomato plant pot was 4 tomato plants 3 ft tall
Nah...that can't be right
I took my 3.5 readers off to see if they weren't real but only magnified
Nope...they were real
There they sat just looking all green leafy and splendiferous
I quietly took one step back and raised my hands in an honoring gesture to the garden gods!!!
This situation perplexes me because last year I planted hollyhocks that grow like weeds out this way. They were my favorite flower as a kid and surrounded every cabin in The Willows in Alpine where my Aunt Gilda lived.
They were known to be so hardy they'd grow thru cement cracks
But at my little abode, properly cared for, they put out a large volume of quickly dying leaves and exactly 2 flowers on 9 plants (4 of the roots died immediately) and then just listed along to feed the bugs
Now if that isn't an example of my GREEN thumb nothing is!!!
My tomatoes two years ago didn't even limp along, they grew about 2 feet tall, spit out about 2 tomatoes then died
The Grapevines however suffered thru the summer heat and my gardening curse and hung on. They went dormant in the winter and were treated to a termite fumigation under a large lovely striped tent and the little suckers came back bigger and more extravagant then ever!!!
I could hear them whispering ~~nahnahnahnahnahnah thought you could get rid of us that easily did ya..cough cough~~
~~I DON'T UNDERSTAND~~
The tomatoes plants for this year were throw aways. I have a new neighbor who had them given to her by a friend. I was visiting her and saw her planting them in full sun in the center of cement blocks
"Nonono" I said "that will never do"..calling on my huge expertise as a BAD gardener
They'll never grow that way...to much sun...(even tho all us tomato gardeners know that's what the growing directions call for)
"I'll give you a larger pot"
Of course i didn't add "One of the ones I've killed many a fine healthy plant in"
And over i went to my house to find her one
The plants were tiny babies about 2 inches tall, she was complaining it would be impossible to grow them large enough to produce in this season. I didn't dispute her word. The giver would be over in a week to see them planted
SO BECAUSE SHE'S COMING YA GOTTA PLANT THEM RIGHT?
Upon leaving she said "here you take four"
OH CRAP.....A REGIFTER!!!
Of course i took them.... and quickly shoved them under one of my patio chairs out front
Three days later i noticed them looking all "I guess we'll just shrivel up and die now" and i picked them up and headed for the trash
My gifting neighbor was looking on so i stopped short and planted them in an empty pot out front and out of the screaming heat of Lakeside's Southern sun
I even hate to say it but i watered and fed them
That's where i made my fatal mistake
Unloved tomatoes will turn on you every time!!!
Bobby admitted to me today he's been watering and feeding them of late
So I've decided that when it's time for the harvest he can climb the enviable stalk that's forming and pick and bring them down
that will teach him to play gardener
but what if he likes it up there...
July 23 update
well here we are one month later and 4 three inch tomato plants have grown to 4 feet tall
i don't know how they did...they even have a dozen tomatoes on them now,,,little green suckers that preen in the hot summer sun and scream for more water everyday
not only have i been suckered into taking care of them but my neighbor across the street who was also regifted has pulled me into her tomato plant drama
these damn things have taken over the neighborhood!!
the original gifter and the regifter visit on the average of once a week as if coming to a sacred shrine...as i bring out large glasses of Ice Tea they sit on my front patio and oh and ah over huge greenstalks...then they take a walking tour of the other plants and plaintively discuss the pros and cons of why they aren't a big
Bobby my husband just shakes his head in amazement at how tomatoes can cause such a ruckus
they ask me what i'm doing that they aren't doing
now this is a big mistake because i have a very bad tendency to become professorial......oh yeah...i like to sling my totally superior weight around from time to time...hahahahahahahaha...
i show them my tomato food...how i support mine with a plastic bar system instead of chicken wire....don't put them in direct hot 100* sun........what time of the day i water.....how i give them Epsom salts once every 14 days for Magnesium
oh course this is all bullshit because i did the same things for my tomatoes 2 years ago and they didn't grow worth shit!
i think these tomatoes are just doing this to taunt me!!!