Enjoying life's adventures in a secluded mountain cabin

It’s a Jungle Out There!

I spent the better part of yesterday out in the garden tackling this little project.

Now that I’m sitting here looking at this picture, I’m thinking little is probably an understatement.  These were our tomato plants in the garden.  They were literally taller than me.  And we’ve only put Miracle Grow on ’em twice throughout this entire growing season!  Some of these were started from seeds here in the cabin back when the snow and cold was still swirling about outside, and others were bought in what I remember to be fairly tiny little pots and then lovingly transplanted in our garden.

I’m not real sure what happened here, but I know this ain’t right.  Somewhere along our journey into this whole gardening thing, we stopped growing tomato plants and started what appears to be a small jungle up here in the Western NC mountains!  Three or four small children could easily hide in this one row of plants and we’d never, ever see them.

Now I definitely don’t know a lot about gardening, but I knew these things weren’t supposed to look like this.  So, for the past few weeks, Mountain Man and I have been attempting to control the jungle that’s growing beside the cabin and we’ve tried to move some branches, limbs, arms, vines, (I have no idea what the correct terminology is regarding the various parts of a tomato plant,) so that some sunlight could find its way inside to the vast amount of green tomatoes that are hanging inside each of these plants.

Well yesterday, out of a sheer fit of boredom and the need to do something productive that involved actual labor, I decided I was going to wage war on our tomato jungle.  With the help of some serious pruning shears, of course!  I fought with those branches, limbs, arms, vines, or whatever those things are called for four hours.  Some of those dang things were eight and ten feet long!  They started at one plant and had wrapped themselves halfway down the row to the plants all the way on the other end!  I trimmed and cut and rearranged and trimmed some more until they finally took shape and began to look like tomato plants again.  I was merciless.  I cut off every single thing that didn’t have a tomato growing on it and even the ones I left, I stripped most of the leaves off of them so that the fruit I’d uncovered could get plenty of sunshine to ripen up.

So, what once looked like this:

Now looks like this:

Poor things, they look just pitiful.  Almost naked without all those branches, limbs, arms, vines…. thingies shooting out every which way.

But I know this’ll be good for them in the long run.  I know that we’ll have lots and lots of fat, juicy, ripe, red, yellow, and striped tomatoes here in the coming weeks! I probably shoulda got out there with the pruning shears sooner!

I’ll remember that come next year.



Comments on: "It’s a Jungle Out There!" (2)

  1. Not that I’m an expert but next year I would suggest two things. First do not use miracle grow. It promotes leaf growth and you want blossoms. Believe me they will still get large, it’s just the nature of the tomato plant. Second, pinch out all the suckers. There are a lot of videos on this procedure on the Internet. You must be getting a nice harvest, congratulations. I learn something each year that I grow tomatoes.

    • Thanks for the advice! After this year, I’m thinking we’ll not be using any more Miracle Grow on the tomatoes. I’ll check out those videos and get rid of all those suckers next year, too! This has certainly been an interesting adventure for me and it brings about a whole new appreciation for my grandparents and all the years of gardening they did to feed all of us.

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