Enjoying life's adventures in a secluded mountain cabin

Posts tagged ‘tomatoes’

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.

 

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Fresh Veggies

Honestly, is there anything better than garden fresh veggies?  And I’m not talking about going to your local produce stand here y’all.  I’m talking about walking less than thirty feet out my front door to pick the most delectable, absolutely life-alteringly good tomatoes in the world!  Mountain Man would argue that the best tomatoes come from Illinois, and granted, they are pretty dang tasty.  But our blood, sweat, and tears have went into these tomatoes and the other veggies growing out there, so they’re pretty darn awesome, to me!

 

 

Our cucumbers, radishes, and green onions have been pretty good, too.  After what seems like endless weeks of patiently waiting, watering, feeding, and spraying with soapy water to keep the bugs at bay, it appears that the cucumbers are quadrupling daily!  We’re planning to make pickles so this is most definitely a good thing.

And the tomato plants!  Aaahhh!  They’re gorgeous!!!  We were a little worried about them at first.  They didn’t really appear to be doing all that well for the longest time, but then they suddenly started to flourish overnight, it seemed.  Now, we’ve got some really big plants and one in particular is just hanging with big, juicy, green tomatoes, just waiting to ripen up in the hot sun.  We’ve already eaten a few of them and they were really delicious.  Now, our little grape tomatoes are starting to come in and they, too, are just scrumptious!

 

 

I’m afraid though, that once everything starts coming in, we’re gonna be bombarded with tomatoes and cucumbers all at once.  Since we’re gonna be canning most of our crop, this will actually be a good thing.  I think…

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