Freeform Friday: Gardening Surprise

Every year I put out plants in a container garden. Success varies because of a wide variety of factors. In fact, one year, I had some sort of moth lay eggs on my broccoli. I went to work with healthy young plants. I came home to little green sticks remaining where these fat, green babies had eaten every last bit of leaf from them. Yet, every spring, I set out plants.

This year I got invaded by gnats. They must have come up from the courtyard beneath my apartment because I walked the dog through there one day and we both fled the swarms that attacked us. (Gnat bites ITCH!) I’ve tried a series of natural prevention, killers, and such. All I learned is that neem oil kills just about everything, including the plant, but the gnats aren’t terribly bothered.

I also put out tomato plants this year. I don’t usually bother with them because I don’t eat enough tomato to make it worth the effort. My grandson LOVES tomatoes though. So, thinking of how excited he’d be to pick one and eat it fresh from the vine, I planted three.

My neighbor was gifted a couple of plants a week after I planted mine. Her side of the walkway gets more sun than my side. Her plants took off like rockets, quickly reaching the height of mine and then growing beyond it. I told her I was all sorts of jelly and we had some good chuckles about my stubborn plants.

Well, fast forward to yesterday. The tomato plants never grew very tall, never even put out blossoms, and I’m generally sad about them. The basil is still going great guns. The lavender died… again… (I need to figure out what I’m doing wrong there. This was the third attempt.) Columbine flowers bloomed gorgeously and were in a planter large enough to have hopefully captured some seed so I’ll have more next year. The mint looks like it gave up on me, but I think if I trim it back, it’ll survive.

I know that in September, the temperatures will start dropping. It’ll be time to harvest, though I won’t have much harvest aside from the herbs I planted and already harvest. I considered just pulling the non-producing plants and shifting the planters into storage for winter. I stood over the planters, evaluating each, and decided I’d tackle all that in the morning. No sense in continuing to invest time and effort into plants that won’t grow. (There’s probably a life lesson in there, but meh.)

Well, I came up the stairs from walking the dog and lo and behold… one small yellow flower greeted me from the tomato plants. Three plants, and one of them finally decided to throw me a blossom! I stood on the stairs and gave that plant my very best “Are you freaking serious?” look.

So, I may yet have at least one tomato grow for my grandson to harvest. We’ll have to see what happens, but good grief. Why did this silly plant wait until I was ready to end its life to decide to do something!?

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