Late Season Bounty

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This year has seen the most inordinate growing seasons of all time. Our summer was a long three months of intense, scorching heat, little rain and record highs. The results of which yielded nothing from my tomato garden but a few measly pieces of fruit and a lot of wilting green leaves. Blooms on the plants died off in the heat, ergo no tomatoes. It is what I call ‘fried flowers’. Not until the rains came in August did the plants show any signs of flourishing.

I must also mention we are plagued with a small herd of deer from the neighboring woods. They have found our garden a cornucopia of snacks. This year, discouraged from the decimation we endured last year, I planted only tomatoes. When the plants were still very small, before the deer could nibble them to death, our son made large wire cages to place around the plants. It is due to those cages we are now blessed with tomatoes. Yay kiddo!! The idea was my husband’s. It has been said he is a man before his time. He is truly quietly brilliant.

Well those plants just needed a little water to get them going. In October those plants are still growing out the top of the cages.

I have never had plants grow to this height. They have a shovelful of horse manure at the bottom of the hole. I tell you, manure makes the difference.

There are a bunch of tomatoes on those vines. Granted, I don’t cut off the sucker rods at all on these plants, but they aren’t stunted in the least.

But now we are well into the fall season. Leaves are red and brown and the trees are almost bare. As you see, the pasture grass is its own shade of done. Bermuda goes dormant under 80 degrees.

This doesn’t deter those tomatoes in the least, though. A couple frosty mornings scorched the upper-most vines, but still these sturdy plants endure!

There are a few brown leaves here, but that doesn’t diminish the size or the number of the fruit.

There is some frost damage but….

Check out these tomatoes! They are ripening on the vine. To me this is a huge accomplishment in gardening. This fall the weather is still mild… mildly warm. Temps in the 70s and 80s at the peak of the day. This allows the garden to finish its growing season. Remarkable.

If you look carefully, those broken ends on the stems are where the deer took liberties. They can only reach the pieces hanging out, thankfully, leaving the bulk of the plant to flourish inside the wire.

With giddy smugness, we enjoy fresh tomatoes despite the summer and the animals. The summer I thought would be a total loss is turning out to be stupendous.

Let me know how your growing season is this year. I love the out-doors and gardening is pure joy for me.

Thanks for visiting my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

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