Garden Ooops #2: Too Many Tomatoes

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE tomatoes. But they have taken over my garden, or at least part of it. But I love butterflies, too, and had planned this little corner to be my main butterfly-attracting area: birdbath; yarrow yellow, pre-tomatoespaprika and terra cotta; tall white fringy Shasta daisies; and Gaillardia ‘Burgundy’. In front would be a row of white Bacopa and Cranesbill ‘Rosanne’. There’s leftover Borage in the mix also. So, I prepared the soil by weeding and digging in lots of my homemade compost from a casual pile I began almost a year ago. What a beautiful little corner it would be, with butterflies flocking on a regular basis. That is, until the tomato plants began popping up throughout the enriched soil. Well, I’ll keep a few, I decided. We love tomatoes and the idea of interplanting flowers and vegetables always appealed to me. I pulled out at least 20 hardy tomato plants–and then left town for three weeks. Ahhh, what can tomatoes!happen to a garden in three weeks when there is full sun and the drip system is on automatic?! Yup, the tomatoes loved the conditions and went wild. Because I couldn’t see my Shasta daisies and Gaillardia, I hacked back the tomatoes mercilessly, leaving only a few plants and branches with the most healthy fruit. Now, in mid-August, I have hundreds of tomatoes, mostly still green, and I still cannot find my butterfly flowers! I continue to whack off all the new tomato plant growth. The Cranesbills have decided if they can’t fight ’em, they’ll join ’em. You can see some of those hardy geraniums clambering up through the tomato plants. Good for them! By now, avid gardeners and composters know exactly what my major Ooops was, right? Yup. My ad hoc compost pile never got hot enough to kill the seeds from last year’s salad tomatoes. They were yellow, orange, red, and purple. And I think that’s what I’m gonna have this year, too–without the expense of buying the starts. When composting, think HOT.


About writersandy

Writer, Gardener, Crafter
This entry was posted in Food, Gardening, Habitat Gardening, Invasive plants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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