The $50.00 Tomato I Grew In A Container
My $50.00 Tomato
My Goal In Life
I have a goal in life: To grow delicious homegrown tomatoes!
When I was a kid growing up on a farm, our vegetable garden always included tomatoes! I would walk among the huge plants, and just pluck a big, red, juicy tomato and eat it right there on the spot! No need to even wash it.
My favorite sandwich was two pieces of bread slapped together with a tomato, mayonnaise, and a little salt. I can still taste it after all these years!
My Don Juan Rose
My Cattleya Orchid
Zinnias From My Flower Garden
I Can Grow Anything (Except A Tomato)
I don’t like to brag, but I can grow anything! I can take a bare branch from a shrub dig a hole and water it until it turns into a big, beautiful flowering shrub that everyone notices and admires. Why buy a expensive potted plant when I can make my own?? Friends and neighbors are always willing to share!
I like to grow flowers that most people avoid because of their difficulty. Those are the ones I love to grow. I love a challenge.
African Violets? At one time I had 300 growing under my living room window. I finally just had to start giving them away.
Orchids? These are just too easy for me!
Roses? I had a rose garden once that caused people to stop their cars to snap photos.
Annuals? I just sprinkle seeds on the ground, lightly cover, and stand back watch them grow and bloom. Too easy!
Just A Few Of My Neighbor's Tomatoes
My Neighbor Grows Perfect Tomatoes
I have a neighbor who enjoys his vegetable garden. He prides himself on sharing his beautiful tomatoes with me and everyone who lives on our street. His wife brags about all the tomato sauce she preserves from his yield. She makes homemade salsa, and never has to buy spaghetti sauce.
I Hoped This Year Would Be Different
Remember when the big thing was to grow “upside down” tomatoes? As soon as I read about them, I ordered one of these contraptions. I followed the instructions exactly and never got one tomato.
I bought some tomato seeds one year. After killing myself to properly till the ground, and amend the soil to the exact pH the experts say to do, I think 10 seeds sprouted out of maybe 1,000. From these measly number of seedlings, none of them turned into a tomato plant.
For several years I tried growing tomatoes in containers. I have friends who boast about their harvest just from ONE plant. I have lost count of my failures on potted tomatoes. I joined a gardener’s group on Facebook and read all the advice there on growing tomatoes. I have watched countless videos on YouTube.
I was going to try just one last time to grow tomatoes in a container.
One Of The Three Tomato Plants Ready To Be Planted
This Year Will Be Different ( I Thought)
This year was going to be different. I was determined my luck with tomatoes would change.
I bought three small tomato plants from the local garden center, along with nice big pots to grow them in. I bought excellent potting soil. I carefully planted them. I bought cages made to support my plants. I faithfully watered the tomatoes, and became very excited as I watched them begin to grow.
My Three Tomatoes
I Began To Get Excited!
Every morning I would go out with my camera to check the growth of my plants. After a couple of weeks, the leaves began to curl under. A friend told me they needed Magnesium. I bought a box of Epson salt, mixed with water and applied.
Another week passed, and they were looking worse and worse! Two of them was as dead as could be. I sadly threw them out, and saved the pot and soil for a future flower.
The one remaining tomato just might make it. I was getting excited!
My hopes began to diminish when I began to notice the leaves on that plant were curling under. Too much water? Not enough water? I consulted Mr. Google to find an answer. I got conflicting answers. I asked in my gardening forum. No one seemed to know for sure.
I suspected a pest had attacked my tomatoes, so I tried the old standby: diluted dish washing soap and water sprayed onto the plants. They continued to curl. I broke down and purchased some liquid insect killer and sprayed the plants. This was a last resort because I hate using any chemicals on my plants.
Even though the plant looked unhealthy with its curling leaves, it began to bloom. I was really excited because after the blooms the fruit will follow, right?? Wrong.
I was joyful when I saw tiny little green tomatoes forming on my sad plant. I’m going to have tomatoes, after all.
I spent time every day taking photos, and anticipating beautiful red juicy tomatoes! I couldn’t wait to show my boastful neighbor.
Only One Tomato Plant Is Alive
I Now Have Blooms!
I Now Have One Tomato!
A few days ago, I saw my one lone tomato go from a nice green color to this color. It defies description. It is just pitiful. Maybe it will improve……
I patiently waited . I realized this was the final product. I plucked the fruit from the plant, brought it inside, washed it, and cut it open. Yuk!! Most unappetizing. I threw it away.
You be the judge.
Pretty Sad Looking, Don't You Think? Notice The Curled Leaves.
I have about $50.00 invested in this one pitiful tomato!
If I add up what it has cost me for the three plants, pots, soil, Epson salts, insecticide and water I used, and the 3 cages to go around my plants thinking they would need support! Ha, ha….they never grew enough to need them.
I don’t think I have the talent for growing tomatoes. I’ll have to settle for a tasteless, overpriced tomato I buy at the grocery store for my BLT sandwiches.
I think it must require a very talented gardener to grow tomatoes. I’ll just stick with flowers that will reward my hard work and effort. I give up on growing tomatoes!
Just this evening my neighbor brought over enough tomatoes for me to enjoy for at least two weeks. Yeah for good neighbors!
My good friend, Peggy W. is an avid gardener like me. This is a delightful Hub she wrote about growing a Monster tomato.
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Do You Grow Your Own Tomatoes?
© 2015 Mary Hyatt