More garden pics.
Probably seems weird, doing all this potting indoors, but by keeping the bag of soil in the garage and only getting as much as I need and then potting on a cut up garbage bag in my office, I haven’t had to deal with any fungus gnats. That’s a serious bonus, considering they drove me crazy last year.
Of course, I have the other problem of being completely out of space for all the plants. I have half as many as last year and I’m still struggling.
That seems far more effort than its worth for a tomato.
You’ve clearly never tasted a sun gold blistered in a pan with fresh, hand-made gnocchi.
And if you’re talking about the soil, it’s not that big a deal at all. It’s no more difficult than potting out of doors, where I’d have to hose down my patio after anyway. Starting them indoors is fun, of course, but it also protects them from the million or so pests that might eat them before they ever bear fruit. It also extends my growing season, increasing the amount of fruit I can get before it gets too cold for the plant to keep producing.
Growing tomatoes at home is the only way to really get the depth and breadth of flavor from their varieties that you might want if you know anything about tomatoes. Like the fact that most tomatoes at your supermarket were picked green and exposed to ethylene gas to ripen it prematurely, resulting in a hard, often grainy, bland tomato—not even worth a spot on your hamburger—because that makes them easier to pack and ship and extends their shelf life. Good for the supermarket, bad for you.
The ethylene gas isn’t dangerous, of course—tomatoes produce it naturally when it’s time to ripen. But that’s the thing, the plant itself produces the gas when the time is right—after the flavor has developed in the fruit—not when it’s convenient.
I could get a lot of different kinds of tomatoes at farmer’s markets, but I would have to spend a lot of money to get as many tomatoes as I’m getting for the cost of running the grow lights and potting soil. In my case, I’d save on that if I composted and made my own soil, but I don’t have room. My neighbors would complain. Last year, I was drowning in tomatoes because my dwarf plants were so prolific I couldn’t eat them all. I had to give away buckets of little red grape tomatoes.
Not everyone has time or space to garden at home, but everyone who does should at least try it. It’s hugely rewarding, even if you’re just growing basil to make and freeze your own pesto. The boyfriend and I just finished off last year’s batch with dinner last night. With frozen pesto, I could make dinner in under 30 minutes. All I needed was time to cook the pasta, which was more than enough time to thaw the pesto. And you can make it with pretty much anything—some people use walnuts or pistachios instead of pine nuts, which are expensive, but the only other thing you need is a food processor.
I’m not growing one tomato. I’m growing hundreds. Of the three varieties I have growing under lamps in my office, two are indeterminate, which means their productivity is only limited by their growing space and the length of the season. A packet of seeds is $1-$2, and I reused pots from last year, which were themselves mostly free.
Growing your own food is the best way to understand and appreciate what goes into it. It’s a skill we should all have, or at least have access to. Because oh my god, these tomatoes are amazing.
ETA: and incidentally, I probably wouldn’t need the grow lights if my house had any damn windows and I didn’t live in what might as well be England for all the sunlight we get. :/