Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mystery tomato

One of the interesting (and frustrating) aspects of gardening is the unpredictability of it. Plant 20 seemingly good seeds, only 10 germinate (sometimes none, which is what I am finding out, though I think my seed is too old). Give all your seedlings the same amount of water, fertilizer, and love, and they grow at different rates (or, again, not at all).

My point in mentioning this is the discovery of a rogue tomato plant in my garden about a month or so ago, and its extreme growth and production despite my not planting it and lack of proper care. Not sure how it got there, other than perhaps through my compost pile after spreading some of it in the garden. When I saw it, I decided to let it grow just to see if, by chance, it might produce something (I have read many times that planting the seeds of store bought produce will not grow true).

Check out the number of fruits and flowers.

To my surprise, the plant grew... and grew... and grew. And not only that, but produced numerous flowers to which have grown numerous small tomatoes. To date, there are approximately 50+ tomatoes growing on this one plant that is about 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Looking through some seed catalogs, it looks as if this is a Cherry Roma tomato plant. The description says: 'Incredibly heavy set of 1" long plum-shaped fruits,' which is how this plant looks. My wife also identified the fruits as ones we have purchased in the past for parties.

The amazing thing is that I started some regular cherry tomatoes, Black Krims, and Old Virginias a short time after this one showed up, and they nowhere near got as big as the Cherry Roma before they began fruiting. And the Cherry Roma is just in plain old dirt, not a row I created and added anything to—just dirt! I have since added a bit more compost around the plant, but nothing major.

We have in the past 2 days picked some of the tomatoes, shown below, with many more that will mature in the next few days.

I am definitely saving some of the seeds from this plant, and hope to have the same success when I actually try to grow them!

I also have 2 large sunflowers that have sprouted on their own. Yet another anomaly, as I have planted sunflower seeds in my daughter's garden which did not grow.

Such is the wonders of nature, I guess.


Amy - Get Busy Gardening said...

I feel your frustration! I have had the same experience almost every year. The seeds from my compost bin do better than the stuff I sow and baby for weeks before planting in the garden. Sometimes I feel like just scattering a bunch of seeds around my garden and see what happens. One day, I might just do that! :-)


Tom Barrett said...

I have said that same thing to my wife! Perhaps just throw'em in the compost for a week, then spread the compost in the garden and let it go!! : D