Friday, July 11, 2008

tomato love

Spent yesterday morning tending the garden my little brother and I planted at my dad's house
. The little tomato seedlings have grown dramatically in just a few weeks, and many of the lower branches are already beaded with small green tomatoes. It seems as though the tomatoes like to lay relatively low. We planted a good spread of heirlooms and hybrid varietals -- Sweet 100, Black Russian, Early Girl, Better Boy, the requisite Beefsteak. Although this is the third summer we have planted this garden, we are still decidedly amateur: as might seem obvious from these pictures, space limitations and gardening zeal resulted in the unfortunate (yet familiar) effect of overcrowding. The crooked, leafy arms of the plants had grown thoroughly entangled, and many slouched low to the ground, unable to support their own weight. The web of green emits an incredibly heady scent of tomato-y goodness, smelling more intensely like tomatoes than the fruit themselves. That said, it was a bit of a job to gingerly pry them apart and steady them upright with stakes and those neat metal basket contraptions. A few limbs were accidentally snapped and had to be unceremoniously cast aside. I nipped the rampant clover-like weed's from the bed, showered the freshly-secured plants with the watering can and finally secured them with fairly high security chicken-wire-esque fencing, necessary to ward off the wily local suburban rabbit population. A shadier bed across the way boasts thriving cucumber and melon plants, bountiful basil, parsley and chives, and some shriveled dill, which I can't quite figure out if it requires more water or sun...

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