I have a lot of too high expectations for my garden’s yield. I say to myself, “I want to make pickled beets,” “I want to can salsa and pasta sauce with my tomatoes,” or “I want to feed the homeless in D.C.” All of these are great feats (one more than the others), but they require more than one tiny bowl of produce. And so far, I’ve produced eight beets.
My seven tomato plants (Roma and Cherry variety) are still standing however, and I take that as a vast accomplishment. They have to deal with briefcases and grocery bags bustling by them and neighbors knocking the leaves on their way to grab packages under the stairs. I started them all from seed outside in plastic seed starters, and now they each are tied up to stakes, flowering nicely, and I’ve spotted a few little green guys starting to grow.
Here a slideshow of the progress since May.
They get a lot of sun here on the steps. Almost too much sun. As they grow taller, the leaves start wilting when they need water. Then perk back up 10 minutes after. Drama queens.
My Internet research gave me the idea to make a little mound around the base stems to keep them anchored and help them produce stronger roots after transplanting. I did this for all seven as they got bigger.
They each get their own stake.
For these two, I used two trellises I had leftover from last year.
And one I planted directly into the yard. Hope it doesn’t mind rocks and clay.
It doesn’t seem to mind. I’ve staked it with another trellis. I had nothing left for the Hollyhock, however, so it is pitching forward a bit. I guess the lesson is I favor food over beauty any day …
When the stems were strong enough (I read online to wait until flowers appear), I tied them to their stakes. For this one, I used a pretty blue ribbon.
This looks like a Roma plant. I had markers for the varieties made out of fancy beer bottle tops, but they got washed away in the rain.
In the mornings after we’ve had our pot (or two) of coffee, I give the tomatoes a caffeine jolt with our leftover coffee grounds and filters.
They’re quite the little caffeine junkies. No Wheaties for these growing kids.