Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ruby Reds

Tonight I feel like devoting an entire segment to (what should be) the centerpiece of any garden: the tomato!

My two Sweet 100 plants have started turning the past couple weeks with this hot, hot weather. I don't think this year has been as good as last year in terms of tomatoes - last year was absolutely sweltering every single day with very little rain. Still, I've been able to cull progressively larger handfuls of little red gems from my plants as the days go by. Nothing says summer like the sugary pop of a warm, sun-drenched tomato.

Several weekends ago I acquired yet another tomato plant to fill the void in one of my containers. I'm one of those people who sees a lonely orphan plant in a greenhouse and just has to give it a home. It's actually going to be a bit of a guessing game because the variety was not labeled, so I have no idea what to expect from this little guy. I can tell it will be a larger tomato, but have no idea beyond that. He's still getting over the shock of being transplanted and he'll probably start blooming here in a little bit.

I'm waiting patiently for our favorite tomato grower at Findlay Market to set up shop for the summer. All they do is tomatoes - they sell some of the juiciest, sweetest tomatoes at the market. Their yellow cherry tomatoes are absolutely sinful.

The more I read about heirloom tomatoes the more I want to give it a whirl next year. I've shied away from growing larger tomatoes on the balcony because they just aren't as happy in the constraints of a container. I wish I had some ground space so they could spread their roots and really produce, but alas, this is what I have to work with. I'm still curious about heirlooms though, as trendy as they seem to be right now. Hell, half of the veggies I planted this year were an experiment, I'm going to have to take some different risks next year. My mind will be busy planning this winter.

Oh, the possibilities!

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