This summer I was and continued to be super disappointed in the tomatoes I was buying in the grocery stores. Memories of those sweet beautiful red rubies smelling of incapsulated sunshine drove me to thinking of trying once again to grow some on my own.
While in Wal-Mart buying bird seed in September, I saw some packaged rubber flower bed containers. Hmm...maybe I could try growing stuff in a couple of these so I bought two circles. Then bringing them home I had to decide where to put them. My original thought was behind the garage but wasn't sure about the amount of sun the beds would get as the days grew shorter. So I opted for another section where I was sure they would get afternoon sunshine. I put the circles together on top of the grass a little cattywonkus figuring the plants wouldn't care and laid newspapers all over the bottoms covering the St. Augustine grass. Next step was Miracle Gro Garden Soil and of course it took way more of these than I figured...never been very good at figuring stuff like that out...but after 3 trips back to Wal-Mart, the bed were looking pretty good. And our cats found them so much nicer than the litter box...oh well, fertilizer, right?
It seemed like forever before fall plants came into our local nurseries, none at Wally World or Home Depot and finally I went to our wonderful local guy's place, Maas Nursery, in Seabrook. It is an experience in its self...amazing plants, helpful staff, monkeys and peacocks and imported garden decor. I might have to pay a little more but the plants are always healthy. They had all kinds of tomatoes and some great looking cucumber plants which I couldn't resist figuring I could trellis them up an old piece of fence stuck in the bed. I bought the large size tomato wire ring supports and went home a happy camper. All the plants fit in the two circle beds along with their supports.
Weeks went by and the plants grew and grew. The tomatoes grew to the top of the support; the cucumbers began to amble all over the place trying to grab onto anything and everything but the fence. But no blooms! Nada! Nothing!
Finally the first little cool front came through and it was like a signal to my little garden to get busy. Blooms formed all over the cukes and a couple appeared on the tomatoes. And just before I left for my two weeks in Birmingham, little cucumbers were forming.
When I got home, on the kitchen counter were 8 big cucumbers my daughter had picked along with our wonderful yard man who took some home and the cukes have been coming ever since. But the really great news is that there are little pale green tomatoes forming all over the plants which are now so big that I had to recruit daughter's boyfriend to put some 6' stakes beside them to hold them up. He took a bunch of cukes home to make pickles.
I am now a believer! I may have some home-grown tomatoes!