Officially Summer

It is official - summer is here with the ripening of my beefsteak tomatoes.
These hold such strong memories of my childhood.
My mother planted a long row below the kitchen window and would tend to them
as the precious treasures they are.
Just touching a tomato plant brings that happy scent
of what is coming to the table.
Then the glorious first harvest with thick slices oozing juice
and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
The sweet fruit bursting in your mouth and so juicy it would pop out of the corners of your mouth just to be retrieved by your tongue.
Oh they are divinity in flesh.

Fast forward to my own tomato cultivation and my successes and failures.
In our previous home, I planted in the large raised beds and had little to no luck.
If the critters didn't get them then they would perish
as there was never enough water to keep them happy.

Here on Moonlight Lane I am taking a smaller approach.
Yes Friends here he is - this "Hunka Burnin' Love" beefsteak all buffed out.

Here are my insights:
  • Tomatoes love deep roots - this large pot that used to be the home of a small lemon tree is perfect.
  • Tomatoes love warm soil - the pot is black so it heats up the soil quickly.
  • Tomatoes are water-lovers - this container, though it has a drainage hole, will hold buckets of water to satisfy it's thirst.
  • Tomatoes love a tucking in - when planting your little man, bury him up to his first set of bottom leaves.  The buried stem will create additional roots which means a stronger plant and more fruit.
  • Tomatoes love food - I used Organic Dynamite Mater Magic this year and it has proven to do as claimed.  There are many fertilizers out there but I was attracted to this one as it is organic and I am trying to keep my raw food consumption to exclusively organic.
  • Tomatoes are selfish - yes I have some alyssum around the base for beauty but as a rule, tomatoes don't like to share their space.  A good mulch is a great idea to hold in moisture and heat and to keep weeds at bay. 
  • Tomatoes need support - these Stacking Tomato Ladders are fabulous and easy to attach the plants as they grow.  Added bonus, they are currently on sale!

The one on the right will be breakfast this morning -
a BLT for Mr. Moonlight and
a BLT salad for me.

So friend, go fearlessly into the world of tomato cultivation
and you shall be rewarded with the taste of summer.
And you can curl your lip and sing "Hunka, Hunka Burnin' Love" like Elvis
as you dance to your kitchen with your first harvested treasure.

Thank you, thank you very much, for stopping by moonlight lane