I have to admit I am not the best gardener nor am I the most knowledgeable (far from it!) but I do love to garden. Being able to grow your own food is satisfying on many levels and also lots of fun.
While most of my skill in gardening is on an intuitive level, experience has also taught me a few things. I’ve learned what varieties of tomatoes I like, how easy or difficult they are to grow and I try to grow something new every year. Sometimes it is a great success, sometimes a disaster and occasionally a mystery surprise that never occurs again. But every spring and summer I look forward to lots of fresh veggies and a greatly reduced grocery bill.
For twenty years I have grown vegetables and flowers based on my feelings and own intuition but in the last couple of years my garden hasn’t done well. I really didn’t know why, I had lots of theories, but no real explanation. So, this spring I decided to get some help. My friend Lee O’Hara, has quite a rep as an organic gardener and even has a couple of DVDs on organic gardening. Coincidentally, I ran into Lee while we were both doing work for the same company and we got to talking about gardening. Long story short, I bought his DVDs and watched them.
Now Lee has developed quite a regimen for gardening and while I didn’t do everything he advised in his DVDs I tried to do as much as I could (couldn’t quite figure out the drip system, for example) and I have to say the results were amazing. As you can see in the pics below:
Also because my yield in the previous couple of years was low I went a bit crazy. I planted 18 tomato plants – seven of which were seedlings of my own and eleven nursery plants. Since in my experience I have lost 2-4 plants for various reasons, I assumed that 18 plants would leave me with 12 really hardy plants. Still a lot, but I love tomatoes and so does my room mate. In my wildest dreams I never would have thought that 17 or the 18 would make it. Thanks to Lee I now have tomatoes with everything.
I have brandywines, Aunt Ginny’s purple tomatoes, Boxcar Willy’s, Marglobe, black cherry tomatoes, St Pierre’s, Homestead 24’s and Fresnos. With the exception of the Fresno’s, all of the tomatoes are heirlooms and I plan to harvest plenty of seeds for future plantings.
I also have the biggest cuke plants and squash plant I’ve ever grown, thanks to Lee’s methods and my cosmos are five feet tall!
So if you ever want to grow monster veggies that are delicious and hardy, check out Lee’s DVDs and his gardening methods. Incredible! Meanwhile, if you’d like to drop by my place for a tomato sandwich, please feel free. There is plenty to go around. Also if you have any killer recipes for tomatoes, please leave them in the comments section, I’ll need lots of ideas and soon!
(By the way, Lee has no idea I am writing about him and this post was not solicited by him in any way – I just like to pass on good info when I come across it.)
So here’s to tomatoes with everything and for a long time to come.