TomAYto, TomAHto

Back in May or June, my love and I were tooling around a local nursery and saw a little tomato plant that was on sale. Neither one of us had ever grown tomatoes, so we figured this inexpensive little plant would be a low-risk way to initiate ourselves to container gardening.

We brought said plant home (along with a little red pepper plant, also on sale) and using some soil and pots we already had on-hand, we planted those babies and arranged them in a sunny spot on our deck. Later that week, I picked up three herb plants in a cute little triple planter, and then we were REALLY going to gardening town!

Of the two of us, my lovely man is the one with the green thumb. I used to be able to keep porch plants alive when I lived in Florida, and my yard plants do ok now, but give me a houseplant, and I will kill it typically within six months. Meanwhile, My love has a beautiful rubber tree plant he brought when he moved in that’s six years old and thriving. The fact that it’s thriving in a spot that has seen the death of several of my own plants tells me all I need to know.

But I digress.

I told myself I CAN garden, and I CAN keep plants alive, and so I paid attention to our little tomato, pepper, and herb plants too. Between the two of us, we watered and watched. We shifted planters and fertilizer. We watched in astonishment as our tomato plant shot up to about 4.5 feet. We didn’t know you needed a cage for them, so we staked it the best we could and used the deck rails to prop it up.

We clipped rosemary and thyme and oregano for our roast chicken, and we got several lovely peppers that we used in stir fry and teriyaki. And we waited and waited for some of our tomatoes to turn red.

And waited.

I had decided if they never turned red, I’d make us our weight in fried green tomatoes (a favorite!) and call it good. But finally, finally! The tomatoes have started turning yellow and then red. We’ve been able to eat a few, and there are still a TON of green ones on the vines, but I have faith.

It’s pretty cool that A) I haven’t killed any of these plants and B) we are actually eating food we’ve grown.

My Tennessee aunt (who had a beautiful farm with a prolific garden) would be so proud of our tiny little deck garden. And if I have to make fried green tomatoes out of the rest of these tomatoes, you know it’s her recipe I’m gonna be using!

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