Today felt like it was the first seriously rainy, chilly day of fall. We saw it coming in the weather reports and so yesterday when I was stranded at home all day with a sick kiddo (really? After FIVE days of UEA, the kid had to wait until Monday morning to get sick? Wah! Boo Hoo me!) I decided to take on the tomato plants before the weather really turned. It was time to pull them out and say goodbye. Sniff.
I have mentioned before my great love of tomatoes and how hard it is to see them go every year. I am going to confess though that this year our tomatoes were so massive and abundant that...I actually got a little burnt out and had a substantial amount of guilt as I tore down the plants and found all the fruit left behind. It seems almost sacrilegious that I could do such a thing, but you have to understand the scope of our tomato plants this year.
I just realized that this is going to be a very boring post.
Oh well - feel free to move on if you can't bear my extensive tomato monologue.
In the spirit of our tomato-love I planted five little plants this year and hoped that they would do well. They were okay, but not great, partly because they were planted in the same place we always plant them and thus I think the soil was a little deficient. Also, I accidentally bought four cherry tomato plants and it turns out that no tomato lover I know can keep up with four plants worth of cherry tomatoes. This would have meant bad news for us except that at the beginning of the summer, when our five little plants were already starting to stretch their arms and roots, we received a gift of the five most PATHETIC looking tomato vines I have ever seen. Someone knows that we love the Brandywine variety and so gifted these to us. They were quite straggly and limp we had very little hope for their survival, not to mention their production. The thing is, we had to find a brand-new spot of dirt for planting and that fresh raw soil did the trick.
Although they barely changed at all for a couple of weeks, pretty soon we were shocked on a daily basis by their growth. I meant to take a picture of Troy next to them with the vines towering over his head but before I did the tomatoes growing there became so massive and heavy that they were pulling the vines right over. We were gathering tomatoes the size of grapefruit or larger and gobbling them up as fast as we could until about mid September when suddenly we were just kind of done. As I pulled out the vines yesterday my amazement continued as I found that the vines stretched into the neighbor's yard over 10 feet - they were choking the grapevines which usually strangle everything in sight!
So, sigh, yes, the tomato plants are gone. But thanks to me neglecting them for a month, we found quite a haul yesterday and if I can get myself into gear we can have some good sauce and salsa and maybe one last BLT night before they all disintegrate into primordial mush. Which I will stir into the dirt to make even better dirt for next year.