Nothing tests a gardener's patience or resolve like waiting for an heirloom tomato to take off.
I have more than 20 heirlooms out in my garden or in tubs. I watch them like a beady eyed vulture, rejoicing in first blossoms and initial fruit set.
The problem? Well most of my heirlooms are 85 day, or longer, to maturity varieties, so It’s going to be a long wait before I pluck my two pound red beauties and gently place them on display in my kitchen next to my huge remarkably tasty Reed and Choquette avocados ( a new variety I’m trying to grow right here in the avocado empire).
Heirloom Dinner Plate tomatgo (top), Choquette or hall 30-ounce avocado (bottom)
In an effort to keep my salads filled with vitamin C and outright tastiness, I also grow several varieties of cherry and hybrid beefsteak tomatoes. the newest addition to my yearly tomato crops are:Black Cherry tomatoes and Indigo Red cherry tomatoes. While i was up north at a technology trade show last week, my indigo reds ripened and my black cherry plants began setting astounding amounts of tomatoes.
Indigo red cherry tomato (top), Black Cherry tomato (bottom)
the best thing about back or front yard tomato patches, is watching it mature, a process that here in Escondido can last until Late October. My plan for this year was to try and grow six types of heirlooms and to be absolutely merciless in my prosecution of the various burrowing rodents that have wiped out my plants in past years.
I’m reluctant to use poisons on my pests because I really don’t want to kill or maim the local birds of prey. but I do have a nice air rifle and a single shot .22 I’m not the least bit reluctant to use in protecting my garden.
I also have at least a reinforced battalion of meadow mice and gophers who are ascend to the attack paw over paw up the sides of my raised beds to set up burrows in my planter.
I really really hate those critters, but the one time Khe Sahn Marine veteran in me actually admires their willingness and ability to carry out their mission.
This years heirlooms tomato crop include mortgage lifters, Dinner Plate, and French beefsteaks.
I use gardening to restore my drive to wite-- something afraid of losing. That’s it for a Sunday night.Jim “Farmer “ Forbes on April 26,2015