|Keep Hoping Machine Running (thefourthvine) wrote,|
@ 2010-08-01 10:23 am UTC
|Entry tags:||[real life]|
It turns out that this is because planting tomatoes in our climate is roughly akin to keeping a wolverine or a bear in your back yard. (Obviously, which animal it is depends on what kind of tomato you plant. Because I am extremely clever, I planted both. Wolverine and bear tomatoes do not, as I have learned to my cost, fight and thus cancel each other out; instead, they team up and destroy the world.)
A partial list of things our tomato plants have destroyed on their way to the inevitable (no, seriously, I am now convinced that this is where gardening always has to go) end of civilization as we know it:
- The zucchini plants
- The pumpkin plant (although we did get some very nice pumpkins first)
- The green bean plants
- A blueberry bush
- My first herb garden, including the cilantro, thyme, oregano and mint (yes, mint, for serious)
- A wooden trellis, uprooted and broken in two
- A wire trellis, uprooted and hideously warped
- Four of the standard wire cages, uprooted, bent, broken, and smushed to the ground, to the point that we cannot be entirely certain where most of them are
- The garden containment bricks (next year, I will see if I can't get some highway crash barriers; those seem more likely to work)
We have, however, picked a lot of some kind of weird tomato that it turns out is ripe when it's dark red on the bottom and sort of greeny-black on top; they are incredibly tasty, although I try to eat them out of the line of sight of the living room windows, because the tomatoes can see in through those and I am concerned they will strike back.
Another thing I should possibly have thought twice before planting is basil. See, I have always before gotten basil in pots. The process with basil in pots is, in my experience, as follows:
- Purchase nice, good-smelling, healthy-looking basil in a pot.
- (Optional) Pick a couple of leaves.
- Throw away dead basil plant a week later. Save pot or not, as you choose.
Apparently what basil really likes is to be planted outside. I put mine in a big container (because the tomatoes had already taken out most of the herb garden; this was back when I thought that was the worst they would do, not realizing they were sort of pausing and licking their chops prior to really getting down to business), and now I have a giant basil bush. I go out, I pick a little basil - not enough to make any difference in the size of the bush, but just enough to keep it sort of roughly contained - and once I get it indoors, I realize I have a huge amount of basil, such that in addition to serving it (with the tomatoes, of course) that night, I'm going to have to make some more pesto to freeze.
I tell you what: I now completely understand why tomatoes and basil so often appear in the same recipes. It's because of gardenerly desperation.
Gardenerly desperation is actually a major factor in nearly everything I do in the garden these days. I had no idea so much calamity would be involved. Gardening is dangerous, and let no one tell different. These days, I cannot believe they sell seeds without requiring a gardening license. And maybe a firearms license, too.
One of the tomato patches, early on. Later, I added further plants behind these ones. This was an error. Note the weeny wire cages.
Part of the same patch now. Note how there is one of the weeny wire frames in the photo; it is no longer connected to the ground. The other ones - the one above and the two I added later - are somewhere under the tomato mass. Near the back, there's part of the one bear-sized reinforced wire cage I bought, still holding steady. (Most of the tomatoes we've picked came from this one. Tomatoes apparently feel more ready to ripen when securely contained.)