It’s a jungle out there

The tomatoes are finally starting to produce enough so that I have more than I can eat. Which is OK with me because the opposite of that means I’d still be waiting, wanting and possibly weeping.

All my plants have produced at least one red tomato and most, especially the smaller ones, have yielded many. It’s ironic (at least to me) that the Early Girl plant didn’t really start any earlier than the Better Boy or Celebrity plants. All seem to be ripening about the same. The Beefmaster tomatoes are ripening a bit slower, but my gosh are they big! I pulled one of the riper ones off easily the other night, but I couldn’t break the other ripe one from its stem with my hands. The stem is incredibly thick! I suppose it has to be to hold up the big fruit. A few are so big that they have grown around the metal supports of the cage, which makes for some interesting looking tomatoes — and doesn’t make it any easier to pull them off the plant.

The tomatoes with the smaller fruit are going strong, although only one turned out as expected. That’s the cherry plant – it’s fruit are the traditional round with a somewhat tart taste. I planted two grapes because I just loved them last year, but I obviously didn’t get the same kind. Although one of the grapes is pretty close (a bit sweeter than I’d like), the other is totally not what I expected. It took me awhile to figure out what kind it is — it looks like a Roma variety. Trouble is I would never knowingly buy and/or plant a Roma. They’re just not my favorite — too meaty/not juicy/not tart enough for me. When I finally found the plastic card that came with the plant, it told me the plant is a Cherry Juliet. The fruit is grape-like but much bigger (see photo). They’re also meatier than a regular grape and a bit sweet. They look like they would make the perfect canning tomato or even salsa tomato. I’m cutting them up for salads right now and I have to admit, they’re better than I thought they would be. Not sure that I’ll knowingly buy the plant again though.

The cukes are going strong, too, and my co-workers are getting their fair share. I munch on them for snacks and I’ve made a couple jars of pickles, but you can only do that so much!

We got an all-day soaking rain today. I think it’s the first one of the summer. It was one of those days when you’d like to just sleep in. I couldn’t, and didn’t really want to anyway. I wanted to enjoy it. The skies may have been overcast and dark, but my mood wasn’t. I enjoyed putting my rain slicker on and walking in the backyard, the raindrops on the wet, green (yes green!) grass tickling my feet. The way this summer has gone, who knows when we’ll get to enjoy another day like this?

My rain gauge measured 2 1/2 inches about 6:30 tonight, and it’s still raining. Can’t wait to see how much we end up with. I know one thing about the rain. It helped this booyah gardener have a good day. What more can I ask for?

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