My mother-in-law grows tomatoes. She starts the seedlings some time in March and then transplants them to the greenhouse by the beginning of May. She plants them deep into the soil so that only the top third of the young plant peeks out above the soil. The rest eventually turns into root, providing a strong, healthy foundation for the plants. As they start to grow, she religiously pinches back any wayward growth. She won’t allow her plants to grow scraggly or bushy. She says this way all the energy gets focused into producing massive crops of juicy, flavorful tomatoes. Having gorged myself on her tomatoes every summer these last few years, I can honestly say I think she’s onto something. And the best part is, they’re all organic all the way!
Ten days ago my in-laws flew to the Czech Republic and my mother-in-law won’t be back until the end of May. In the mean time she’s entrusted me with the care of her little plantlings. She had transferred them to the greenhouse just a few days before she left so right now they still look small and innocent. But boy these little guys are putting forth some serious growing effort. I watered and pinched and primped and tied all the plants on Saturday and when I went to take some pictures to share with all of you on Sunday the little suckers had already sprouted new growths that needed pinching. I’m only there on the weekends so I’m already dreading what awaits me this Friday. It’s going to be a jungle in there!
To fully capture the awesome growth feat I know these little fellas are about to undertake (and so that I have proof to show my mother-in-law that I really was taking care of her plants while she was away) I’ve decided to document the tomato growing process this year and share it with you guys.
Let the Tomato Chronicles hereby begin!
The little bear in the photo above is named Joshua. I got him many, many years ago from my best friend in primary school as a souvenir from her trip home to Japan one summer. The reason Joshua is hanging out at the base of this tomato plant is so that he can act as a quasi measuring stick. I’m going to pose him with the tomato plants every week and you’ll be able to see how over time he’ll be dwarfed by the towering tomatoes. This week though, not so much towering and not so much dwarfing.
Last weekend the plants were about ten inches at their tallest. I’m guessing they’ll have added a good four inches during this week, putting them at a solid 14 inches by Saturday. What do you guys think? Am I giving the tomatoes too much credit? Not enough? I’ll be taking bets until Friday night 😉
To be continued…