It wouldn't be our annual planting weekend without the tomatoes!! I think I get as excited about these, as all the gorgeous flowers! I'm determined to one year be the crazy tomato lady that has so many tomatoes coming out her ears, that she's trying to pawn them off on anyone and everyone! Hahaha! So far, this hasn't happened. We haven't yet had more tomatoes than what we could eat, and quite honestly, we would have been happy to eat more the last few years, than what our plants produced. SO, this year, we added two additional plants. That puts us up to 10 tomato plants.
I know that photo above isn't very pretty, but it's still super exciting to me! All those little plants are the tomato plants and Bart built those cages to help keep the tomatoes standing, once they're huge, and we get high winds and such. We've tried several different store-bought versions of tomato cages over the years and all of them ended up blowing over right along with the tomato plants! So finally last year, Bartley built these and they worked like a charm.
We LOVE heirloom varieties but this year, the nursery didn't have some of the ones we've gotten in the past, so we've got some new varieties this year mixed in with a few favorites. I thought I'd share which varieties we got and as always, at the end of the season (and maybe even along the way) I'll let you know how each variety produced, which ones tasted the best, all that jazz. We keep track all summer long, of how many tomatoes we get off of each plant, and what they weigh! That way, at the end of the summer, we know which varieties gave us the most tomatoes and which ones were duds (hopefully none!) so we'll know what we like and don't like for next year! It's all very scientific! Haha.
Anyhoo, here is what we planted this year....they are all heirloom varieties.
- Black Krim - 70 days till fruit (We've had this one several years now and love it. SO good! In fact, we would have bought more of this variety, but they only had one plant left!)
- Rutgers Improved - 73 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
- Box Car Willie - 75/80 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
- Mortgage Lifter - 75/85 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
- Grafted Cherokee Purple - 75/85 days till fruit (We love the Cherokee Purple, but this year bought one of their "grafted" versions of this plant. It's supposed to have a stronger root system, but still produce the same awesome Cherokee Purple tomatoes. We'll see.)
- Delicious - 77 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
- Brandy Boy Hybrid - 78 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
- Mr. Stripey - 80 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
- Brandywine Black - 80 days till fruit (We've had Brandywine and Yellow Brandywine before, but this Brandywine Black is new for us this year.)
- Giant Belgium - 88 days till fruit (new variety for us this year)
We plant them in order of what should have fruit first....those go closest to the house and they work their way down the fence row from there.
And since that tomato picture up above isn't very pretty, I thought I'd also show you a few of the perrenials around our yard that have started blooming again. We usually try to add a few new perennials each year because they'll come back again and again and are obviously a way better value for our money.
That's a lilac above -- we have 3 lilac bushes now....some new, some old. I love them, each and every one. I wish I could share their scent with you here. Every time I go outside, I have to go bury my face in one of the lilacs and take a huge, deep breath!! I wish I could keep lilac scent in my nose at all times. Is that weird? LOL!
We have 3 or 4 huge rose bushes in a row out back and they're getting ready to bust out like crazy!! Here's the first bloom, but I'm sure I'll share more pictures once the bushes are in full bloom.
And then there's the clematis! We have 11 clematis plants along one fence row and they are happy as clams in that sunny spot in our yard! This was the first plant to start blooming this year, but when I was outside this morning, I counted 4 of the 11 plants with blooms on them now! YAY! I love these huge, colorful flowers and they just get bigger and better year after year!
All of the ones we have are shades of pinks, purples and lavender.
And lastly for today, is a little photo of our azalea. This plant took years to finally settle in and flower well. It was one of the plants that was sent to the funeral home when my Grandpa passed away years ago, and I got to bring it home with me after the funeral. We didn't know if it would survive....it really seemed to struggle for the first few years. But now, it's bigger and usually blooms like crazy right about now. Last year, once it started blooming, there was more pink than green showing! Makes me so happy.
Do you have plants like that around your yard that have special meaning to you for one reason or another?
And what about tomatoes? Are you one of those crazy tomato people that are always trying to pawn extra tomatoes off on your friends and family? I aspire to be like you one day! :)
Stay tuned for monthly updates on how our tomatoes are progressing! Hoping for a bumper crop this year!