Those are the two things I have decided that I am the best at growing – tomatoes and weeds. Having already harvested a few hundred pounds of tomatoes this year, I think my wife was right when she suggested that I might be growing too many tomatoes.
You know how it goes – you watch one of those YouTube videos where this fellow is showing you how to do the “Florida Weave” on your rows of tomatoes, and you get all excited and say, “I need about three rows of tomatoes.”
The “Florida Weave” does sound like a square-dance move, hairpiece, or some sort of synchronized swimming formation possibly. It actually is just an alternative to tomato cages, where you have poles (they need to be strong) between plants and you weave string in and out of your tomato plants as they grow. It gives them more room to breathe and kind of “sandwiches” the plants between the strings.
This Florida trellising approach worked well for me, as well as putting a raw egg (uncracked) at the bottom of each hole, when planting. It’s another one of those things I read about and it seems silly – but, I have had a lot of tomatoes this year. I also randomly planted some eggs in the garden to see if I could grow chickens – that did not work.
Evidently the eggs provide nutrients for the tomato plants and kind of gives them a feeding trough underground for a while. I’ve heard of folks using fish heads and other fish parts to fertilize, which makes sense, but eggs were easier for me.
I would estimate that I have canned, frozen and dried a couple hundred pounds of tomatoes and have given away at least that many. Folks seem to think my tomatoes taste better than grocery store bought tomatoes – which of course is true. I think they ship most of the big grocery stores’ produce in ahead of time and spray it with a lot of stuff and let it get ripe on the truck.
My best canning experiment (that I have opened) thus far, is a bourbon tomato jam that is to be used more like a sauce or spread rather than a jam. I have used it on pork, burgers and spread it on bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and it twangs my taste buds.
Also, my sundried tomatoes are pretty doggone good.
How good are my tomatoes? I’ll tell you this, when the lady at the checkout of the grocery store asks me for my tomatoes on a regular basis, rather than getting the grocery store’s tomatoes – I feel pretty good about myself and my tomatoes. I’m kind of ready for the season to end, because the last time I canned, it took me a whole day to clean up the kitchen.
My shoes were sticking to the floor, there was tomato juice and remnants stuck to the cabinets and my nice gas range and worst of all, my daughter’s dog, who has been staying with me was walking around with a “tomato mustache.” The dog likes tomatoes – what can I say?
Other than tomatoes, my garden seems to be filling up with weeds and this time of year, I just can’t beat them. It’s hot, muggy and I have spent my garden time pulling tomatoes, rather than weeds. When I get the time, I will cut the weeds, till the garden and get ready for my fall planting.
We should revel in our gardens, or more specifically our everyday lives, because both are going to have fruit and weeds.
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