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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tragedy Strikes Idiot Proof Garden

Don't tell me something is idiot proof before I've gotten the opportunity to prove it otherwise! Yeah, I can idiot up things with the best of them. So my storage tub garden grew. And it grew. And man did it grow! I had no idea when I pirated this information off line both from another pirate, and from the official manufacturers web page, that these damn things would work so well! They are huge! There in lies the problem.

Bigger things usually do weigh more. Trucks weigh more than cars, elephants more than mice. Even people follow this rule. I'm 6'5" and weigh about 300 pounds. My father is a little wisp of a man, 5'7 and 3/4" weighing in at a whopping 160.(He weighed 118 when I was born) So why did these plants get so big? I think it must be that I grew them perfectly! What else could it be? Sure, maybe they all get that big, but mine are bigger! Bigger means heavier Jug. Oh yeah, any idiot knows that, or at least most of them.

My July 3rd post showed how much they had grown from the June 3rd sowing, well not sowing since I didn't plant seeds, but just work with me. Between July 3rd and yesterday, the tomatoes were close to 7 feet tall and the green peppers were almost 6. Yep, farm livin is the life for me! I go out each day and water, make sure they are staked up and supported, and stand for a few minutes with my hands on my hips saying, "Yep!"

I was laying in bed last night, of course I was laying, come on, I am house broken! Anyway, I'm laying there listening to one hell of a storm! The light show that went along with it was quite impressive too. As I lay there I could have sworn I heard a loud sigh from beneath my window? I hoped my babies are OK? You raise them and you hope they are ready for the real world. The weight. Had I calculated the weight? I will have to make adjustments for the size and weight of all the fruit on the vine. I was going to run out and check, but the wife reminded me of the weather and the fact that it would like a scene from the "Shawshank Redemption" if I went out now.

I spent many a restless night in the stir, OK, enough of the movie references. Let's just say I would have been up all night if it weren't for the dose of Ambien I took to in hopes of the constantly cycling cramps in my legs fading away into a drug induced slumber. Back to my babies! So I get up this morning, a bonus right there, but I need to go check my fruit. Are tomatoes fruits or veggies? Aren't they fruit so the government can tax them? Try taxing these! Back to my babies!

As I turned the corner past the saw grass, past the claw foot bath tub, my worst fears, any parents were realized. My plants had gotten so big they had actually collapsed under their own weight. My 7 foot tomatoes were now 3 foot. My 6 foot peppers were down to 4 foot, and had actually lost a branch. As you can see, I lost some very young green peppers. How could I have not calculated in the weight? So much for idiot proof! I still have tons of tomatoes and peppers, but I will lose a bunch due to lack of sun. Next year I'm going to buy a welder and make a steal arbor or trellis. I give this method an A+! It is a great way to grow if you have limited space, ability, or mobility.


mdmhvonpa said...

As a fellow farmer, you need to know a few things about 'maters.

You have to 'pinch' them back every day or they will become top-heavy and do exactly what happened. They are vines, after all. Instead of welding, try making a trellis of pvc sprinkler pipe.

Slammermike said...

We always use cages. There are different weight cages. Our Roma tomatoes would crush and over stuff cheaper cages. I think we still have some extra cages if you want some. They are very tall and can handle the heaviest plants.

If you have green tomatoes that came off the vine due to the storm try wrapping them in news paper and put them in the basement. They will ripen. We always do this at the end of the growing season. Before the first frost pick all the green tomatoes and wrap in news paper and put them in a cool dry place. They will continue to ripen. we would be eating tomatoes in October and November. They aren't as good as vine ripened in the sun but in the fall and winter they are great for sauces and chili.

awb said...

No guys, you are missing the point. These things would crush a '56 Chrysler! Those itty bitty tomato cages would be lost in a sea of foliage! As far as pinching them back, man of war, that would take weeks! I just started getting ripe maters, and they are going to come in probably 20-30 a day. That's off of 4 plants! I'm swamped! I am considering of hiring some migrant pickers to help bring in the crop!

Anonymous said...

My husband , who now weighs 165, has a tomato tree . It was grown using jughead's method. It is now up to the garage roof, very full but no tomatoes. Where did he go wrong? Now we have to steal the neighbor's tomatoes. Maybe some kind friend will ship some excess tomatoes to the shore.