Friday, September 16, 2011

Gardentime 2011: The Tomatoes Have Landed

Last year was the first time I tried growing tomatoes. I wasn't impressed. The plant produced maybe 5 fruits, most of them cracked and mottled. This year, I told myself I would stick with a bushy determinate type of tomato. Something small and manageable.

So Lord knows how I ended up with this guy:

That picture was actually taken a month or so ago, which explains why the basil is still small. The plant has only grown since then.

When it comes to eating tomatoes, I prefer the smaller cherry tomatoes. Not really thinking things through, I ordered a black cherry tomato plant from a farm at the beginning of the season.

Small fruit means small plant, right? No, not at all. I'm have really no reason to complain, as this plant has been many times more productive than the Big Boy I grew last year. Case in point:

That's just one day's worth of picking. Last year, the plant capped out around the beginning of August. Here we're into September and the black cherry plant is still being productive.

Of course, this summer was vastly different than last summer. Although everyone looks at me like I am insane when I say this, this summer was actually not very hot. Yes. It was hot. There were a few heat waves. But it was nothing like last summer and as far as being a tomato plant goes, that makes a huge difference. Another giant difference this summer is that I was around during the early parts of it, when it was the hottest, so the plant got more care and attention when it needed it most. I didn't head out on any sort of vacation until August, and by that point, we had plenty of rain and the temperatures dipped down to around 80 to 85 degrees on a regular basis.

I am pretty sure I'll try black cherry again next summer. I may even try to grow two different varieties, one cherry-sized and one larger.

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