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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
August 2009
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*scoffs* the journey my ass. I want my payoff.

I haven’t blogged about this much, but I’ve got a bunch of wild growing plants in my little bit of space on the side of my house. The newest additions are the herbs:

Bear mostly cooks with thyme, so there’s two varieties (Lemon on the left, English right). The middle is basil just because I love it and I’m hoping just having fresh will encourage him to try cooking with it. I probably would have done better to buy rosemary but I’m not as fond and it’s not like he uses it much.

But the big thing is the tomatoes. First is my favorite, despite it not growing much:

The black prince tomato plant. There’s a total of 5 freaking tomatoes on it. I don’t know what’s up, but the two plants in the older planter are sad and tiny and just haven’t been growing well, but they have the biggest tomatoes, if not the most.

The paler leaves you see are the bradley plant, the darker is the black prince in on the left. The bradley plant has ONE FREAKING TOMATO. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a determine plant. If it’s the location of the planter. If it’s the fact that it’s sharing with another plant. I really really don’t get why this little plant continues to be a shrimp. If anything happens to that tomato you might see me actually freak out. The soil was different? WHY?? I wish plants could talk.

But these two aren’t the trouble makers believe it or not.

This is the siberian tomato plant. This fucker has been the biggest pain in my ass. When I had an aphid problem back in June, this plant consistently had 2x more aphids than the other plants and when the ladybugs finally finally started eating all of them this plant was the last to shake them off. It finally started sprouting fruit and then at least a 1/3 of the plant’s fruit started showing end blossom rot. I pruned that 1/3 of the plant away (it was pretty consistent among some branches so I cut kind of aggressively). I gave it dolomite (lime? calcium?) and now the cases have slowed down so that I maybe have seen 5 fruits with end blossom rot since. I’m going to wait another week and if I’m still seeing fruit with rot I’ll give it some more dolomite. The thing is that I MIXED DOLOMITE INTO THE SOIL WHEN I PLANTED. *breathes* mfing plant.

Sadly, this plant probably doesn’t even need me to tell you what the problem is. And it’s not even the plants or nature’s fault. It’s all on my head. When I bought the new planters, I didn’t consider that I didn’t have a cage for them and thus the tomatoes had no support. When I realized they needed the support, I bought some of those round wire cages from Home Depot. Then when I put the cages in place I didn’t consider that four little flimsy wires poking a few inches into the soil wasn’t going to be able to support the weight of the plant. I should have gotten my wire cutters and trimmed the bottom wires so that the bottom circle was flush against the soil to give the cage stability. I’m not even sure that would have sufficed, but it would have been better than what’s going on, which is a decent wind can knock the plant over. Mr Stripey is the best plant I’ve got with lots of decent sized fruit and healthy stems and leaves, but the poor thing keeps falling over.

Then you end up with little lost fruit like this one. Its sad and disheartening and it makes me want to beat myself. Right now the cage is tied to the fence in two different spots so that’s mostly staying upright. I have plans to find clips that I can attach to the edges of the planter and then use string to tie the cage down. I figure if it’s tied tight on all four sides, then it should be ok. I hope. The siberian plant consistently leans only in one direction, so I stole the clips from the cage to counterbalance the pull of the weight. That has kept it from completely falling over like Mr Stripey.