I have a confession to make.
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Some women have a thing about shoes or handbags or kitchen gadgets but me? Mine is tomatoes. This weekend I planted twenty-five (representing 21 varieties), twenty-seven if you count two tomatillos.
Did you know that tomatillos are not a variety of tomato, but they are part of the tomato family?
Anyway, twenty-five wouldn’t be so much if I lived on a farm, or had a large family, or a restaurant, or a friend with a restaurant. But I dont. I live in a subdivision and we are a family of 4 (one of which is a picky no-tomato-unless-it’s-in-salsa-form eater.)
My husband thinks I have issues. I think he doth protest too much. A little history…
Last year I decided to start much of our garden from seed. I was wanting to grow a variety of tomatoes, mostly heirlooms, some of which are hard to find at local garden centers.
After visiting a seed company, I came home with 5 or 6 varieties, not too bad. If I planted 2 plants of each type that would be a gracious plenty. Each packet contained 15+ seeds. Since I’d never started anything from seed indoors (other than some butter beans for a science project), I thought I should go ahead and plant all of the seeds in hopes that at least a few would germinate.
Within 2 weeks I had almost 100 baby tomato plants. And they grew, and they grew, and they grew some more, with only a handful of them biting the dust. They were my precious seedlings, and as planting time approached, I began to get a tad bit concerned that they would have no home.
And they needed a home. They had to be planted. Someone had to use them. They were my babies.
A final count totaled 86 tomato plants. To make a long story short, everyone who stopped by left with a few tomato plants in hand, friends, family, the UPS man. I even took some to a family reunion a state away to spread the love. I still ended up planting around 20.
Thank goodness we like salsa.
And tomato sandwiches. Sakes alive, I can’t wait for that first tomato sandwich.
Anyway, this year with no plans to start anything from seed, I had good intentions of scaling back.
Really I did.
We headed toward the garden center with my garden plan in hand. Maybe 10 to 12 tomatoes would be good? But they had so many varieties. So many heirlooms with different colors and shapes. And have you ever smelled a tomato plant? Oh my. For me (I know, I’m freaky) it’s an intoxicating smell.
Just give me some tomato plants and a gardenia and I’m good to go. I felt like I was in some kind of state of hoarding, grabbing almost one of every variety I saw.
When I met up with my husband to checkout I had to confess. Oh the look, followed by “I think I need to put a call in to our accountant to see if we will qualify as a farm for tax purposes.”
It’s not as if I’m doing something illegal.
How are these sweet little tomato plants imposing on you?
Do you think I love them more than you?
And at $.99 to $1.29 per plant they’re cheaper than a pair of shoes. I could get a few more and still come in under a shoe budget.
And this attitude from a farmer’s son? I know he means well, he doesn’t want to waste good food. But leave me alone. And leave my tomatoes alone. They’re just innocent tomatoes looking for a good home.
I know it’ll be difficult to keep up with the yields from 25+ plants. Even with canning and freezing, I’ll be passing them off to friends and family by the basketful. That’s OK. I can spread the love.
And the salsa.
Are you gardening this year? What is your favorite plant to grow? Are you like me and have a tomato addiction?
Glad to know that I am not the only one intoxicated by the smell of a tomato plant 🙂 I was thinking that I was a bit freaky. 21 varieties wow you go girl!! I am now a wee bit jealous.
If only I could be obsessed with tomatoes and not shoes. I’d be alot thinner. And richer.
I do not garden but, luckily for me, my husband likes to. The ONLY thing I care about is tomatoes. He can plant anything else he likes, or not, as long as he plants those tomatoes. Every fall I mourn the loss of those delicious summer veggies (fruits?? I never have gotten a straight answer on that…)
You and me, dear, are kindred spirits. I am a certified tomato addict and my garden is a testiment to that. I think I only have 7 varieties this year, but I decided I should mix it up a little and plant enough jalapenos to get me through. A girl’s gotta have her pico.
I…love…tomatoes. It is my goal – nay, my purpose in life – to grow them this year. I would love to grow a million of them and give them to everyone. My husband is slightly afraid of me. And he doesn’t even like tomatoes! More for me…
I love your tomatoes!! Last year I planted several heirlooms in giant pots and put them on the back porch in Seattle, where we were on a business trip. We picked tomatoes all summer long and when we left for another 2 month business trip, the rain that blew in kept them growing; I was still picking tomatoes in December when we returned. We’re traveling to much this summer to be able to plant this year but the hubs and I are LONGING for our retirement in 4 years when we’ll be able to plant WAY TOO MANY tomatoes at our New Mexico home. My goal in retirement: pluck hundreds, nay, thousands of tomatoes each year and can and can and can!
I love the smell of tomato plants! I am cracking up Amy, because last year I planted 21 plants in my little subdivision backyard (along with other stuff)…my grandpa had given me so many plants from his seeds, I was handing them out to everyone. Sadly, my garden was a bust last year though…except for our potted cherry tomatoes, the kids ate them as snacks in the backyard all summer!!
I planted tomatillos for the first time this year. Good luck with your garden!!
You should add your salsa recipe to your yum-yum section. I have such a hard time finding a good salsa recipe. I would love to try yours!
We have a garden and have three tomato plants. The tomato plants didn’t do anything last year…I’m hoping they make it this year!!
You’ve inspired me, I’m going to plant tomatoes. I had a tomato sandwich today and I still can’t get it out of my mind! Is there anything better? 🙂 Good luck with the garden!
Oh, your plants look so fresh and beautiful and summery. I am seriously craving a sniff of tomato plant. It’s one of my favorite smells as well. 🙂
We love them too!! We always plant WAY more then we need, but I like giving them away.
WHAT? That many seeds germinated for you last year? OH OH..I may be in BIG trouble…and sharing the love like yourself…I have planted masses of seeds…way to late but Tomotoes late in the season will be nice right? LOL
I am going to go check on my babies right now :-)..all 80+ of them…
This is a delicious habit! I wish we had the space to plant 25 tomatoes. We are doing an urban container garden, may get 10 planted but that is it. Love the yummy photos!
You are so lucky to be able to have the space to grow tomato plants! Besides being cheaper than shoes, they are probably much better for you, too! 🙂
I love this posting…and wish that I could get my tomatoes to grow here in Reno. Aside from herbs, I just can’t seem to get anything to really grow. 🙁 Perhaps living vicariously through you will due for the time being.
Fantastic! I’m so impressed that you did all of that from seed on your first try. I wish I lived closer so I could join you in a tomato sandwich with salsa and chips….way to go!
I remember my family’s summer vegetable garden – love the scent of the tomato plant when it gets on your hands. I remember back then, whenever I’d wash my hands, after having been in the garden, the soap suds were a pale shade of green. Summer vegetable gardens are so nostalgic and a great family tradition to pass down to the kids.
There are 5 of us that live here and last year my F-I-L planted over 30 tomato plants. It was heaven. We spent most of the summer on the back porch with salt shakers eating them like apples. This year he’s already said he will be planting mostly tomatoes 🙂 and we can’t wait!!