I am a failure. I have failed for the last two years. It wasn’t always like that. In the beginning I was successful. Neighbors eagerly awaited my treasures. I joyfully shared. However, for the last two years I have had great difficulty producing quality tomatoes.
Last year everyone said it was too dry. Tomatoes need lots of water. I watered. Puny tomatoes were all I got. This year they said it was too wet. Tomatoes need drier weather. I could not suck the water from the ground. Minuscule tomatoes were all I got.
Summer is made for BLT sandwiches. They have the perfect combination of crunch, salty, and moisture. There is one element that makes or breaks a BLT – the tomato MUST be fresh from the garden. Hothouse tomatoes lack the pizzazz of a home-grown ripe tomato.
Every summer I purchase two tomato plants for my mini garden. I am always confused by all the varieties but I read the tags carefully. I am looking for a large, meaty, early ripening, tomato who will produce until the first frost. Is that asking for too much? I didn’t think so. This year I bought a Big Boy and a Red Beefsteak plus I added a cherry tomato plant.
Weekly I checked my plants. I staked them up when they grew. I watered, I fertilized with tomato plant food. I inspected them for the dreaded tomato worms. (Hmmm, what does it mean when tomato worms don’t invade your plants?) Slowly the blossoms turned into midget balls. The midget balls grew up to be ping pong ball size. This was not what I would call a Big Boy or a Beefsteak.
Finally a tomato of size appeared. I eagerly watched it get bigger and bigger. The color grew brighter and brighter. My excitement was mounting. My mouth was watering for that perfect BLT.
The day had come to harvest this bit of delight. My hand reached down to test the firmness of the flesh when I saw it. A roly poly waddled out from an opening on the underside. Upon further inspection, there was evidence that a slug had chewed its way in and the gnats were enjoying a smorgasbord. Curses! My one tomato of size had been hijacked by nature.
Thankfully my neighbor is having better luck with his plants. He shared several tomatoes. BLT is back on the menu!