A green space for urban gardeners

The survivors: three heirloom tomato plants still standing

DSC00838DSC00828DSC00840While reading accounts of bountiful harvests by garden bloggers around the world, I’ve waited patiently, hoping my day would come.

Well, despite the setbacks I’ve faced this year in the cultivation of my small-space balcony garden, I can at last proclaim: I have tomatoes!

Not as many as I anticipated when I began this year’s gardening adventure, but the fact that I was overambitious has perhaps paid off, since half of too much turns out to be quite enough. Wild cherry, rosalita and isis candy heirlooms endured an extended time inside, followed by days of extreme heat and an overall cool summer to finally come into their own.

Of course I still lament the fallen: my two favorite heirlooms — black plum and sun-sugar hybrid — got fried during that heat wave and never recovered.

And while the Dr. Carolyn once looked to be in good shape, about a month ago the leaves began turning brown and now it’s down to a single stem with one cluster of fruit… I think I’ll put it out of its misery tomorrow and give my wild cherry more room to be.

Believe me, it could use the space. Not only is the wild cherry (second photo) out of control huge, it is amazingly prolific. It’s covered with these bright red, half-inch fruit that are the perfect bite-sized package for dropping into pasta and stir-fry dishes. (I’ll try to post a recipe for a quick dish incorporating them later this week.)

The isis candy (large photo) and the rosalita (third photo) aren’t yet ready to eat, but there are lots of developed, healthy fruit flirting with the sun and likely to be ready to sample in days.

And the fresh flavor of the tomatoes harvested so far has made them well worth the wait.


  Midgefarmer Yan wrote @

Now I’ve got a severe case of tomato envy. Those wild cherries look luscious.

blighted Yan

  Stephanie wrote @

Avis, I am so happy for you! They really look so healthy and good. I look forward to read your quick dish… yum yum… Oh regarding my portulaca, the plants are still so tiny. I wish that they would grow up faster and healthy like your tomato plant 🙂 Have a pleasant evening!

  Jo wrote @

I think tomatoes are my favourite plant to grow. The seed is sown at the start of the year and it seems such a long time before the delicious fruit can be popped in your mouth. It’s well worth the wait though, the supermarket bought tomatoes are not a patch on home grown.

  Miss Daisy wrote @

They look fantastic and ever so tasty! How many different varieties did you plant? I’m so glad you were able to harvest a great looking crop!

  City Diggity wrote @

Miss Daisy,
I planted six, and three survived. I can’t wait to taste the isis candy!

  Dawn/LittleGreenFingers wrote @

I’m in a huff now. I have had three ripe tomatoes all summer. And I don’t mean three plants – I mean three tomatoes. They didn’t even taste that good.

I am now jealous and going off to sulk…

  linda wrote @

Oh boy Avis, they look mouth-watering good! Those cherries are beautiful – what a gorgeous red!

It’s been a strange year for tomatoes with so much cool weather. It’s been a year of smaller crops in some gardens, lots of blight, and longer-than-usual waits for ripe tomatoes. At the end of August I pruned the growing tips and the last flowers here, they started ripening like crazy. Yum!

  City Diggity wrote @

I’m glad your tomatoes are ripening now, too. Let’s hope the weather holds up for a while so we can enjoy our bounty into the fall.

I feel your pain. The first time I set out a tomato plant I got from the grocery store it took till Oct. for me to get about three tomatoes. After that I switched to cherry tomatoes. You get a good supply of fruit every day once they get started — and they’re the perfect size snack for small hands 😉

  Lynne Jordan wrote @

Wow!! I am sorry to hear of your tomater casualties but the photos of the survivors is quite impressive to me!! In fact all of your blog photos are lovely! Good job!

  Wendy wrote @

I just love this photo of your tomatoes with the skyscraper in the background. Is that evidence that gardening is possible in any part of the world or what??!!

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