Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Divine intervention fail

Early yesterday I discovered that tomato hornworms, the terrible swift sword of the gardening world,  had eaten all the leaves off my yellow cherry tomato plant.  That plant represents fifty percent of my tomato crop, or more accurately, all of it.  The other cherry tomato plant is just, well, a plant.  No tomatoes.  The yellow one yielded about twenty fruit this summer.  We bought baskets of delicious tomatoes at the farmers market all summer to actually eat, while I religiously watered my crop but harvested almost nothing.

This worm is a model.  My worms are scrawny and not photogenic. You see the part on the right that looks like a little pony face?  That's his arse.  He's destroying my dreams with his other end.

I have poor luck with gardens.  This year, I prefer to think the problem was not enough sun.  I used a half barrel on the back patio, on the north side of the house, where it is shady too much of the day.  Of course I know vegetable gardens like sunshine (although even when I planted in full sun I only got a handful of produce all season. )  The red cherry is in one of those ridiculous Topsy-Turvy planters which by design has to hang from something and thus is also in the shade.   I planted a zucchini too but each little infant squash turns yellow and shrivels up when it gets about two inches long.

Some people hate vegetables--but it appears that vegetables hate me.

 The farmers market folks have the knack; I am not one of them.  Yet.

I do get lots of basil by trimming about half the leaves every week and laying them out on newspaper to dry; with plenty left to put in everything I cook except coffee.  I also have a very happy thyme plant (happy thyme; haha) that generously provides fragrant thyme leaves all year long, and more oregano  (a rampant weed) than anyone could possibly use. How much Italian food can anyone eat?  Herbs are less fussy than vegetables.

Google Images helped me out here.  But mine looks almost this good.

When the basil gives up and the planter dries out, possibly making it light enough to move,  I'll drag it over to the sunnier side of the patio and maybe next year something will decide to produce.  All I want in life (well, that's not really all I want, but you know what I mean) are the sweet wonderful tomatoes my dad grew and we ate all summer long.  He made it look so easy.  But how?

Late yesterday the phone rang and when I answered, a familiar voice said, hi, it's your dad!  For a brief moment I thought it really was my dad, calling from Heaven to explain how to grow perfect tomatoes.  But then I realized in horror that he might be calling with less desirable news, like maybe my meter had run out and it was time to...ahh...go home.

 Hey wait--no tomato advice?  Is this how it ends?

Here I am discovering that I might never grow decent tomatoes.   

After a quick metaphysical adjustment, I reminded my ex-husband that he was not my dad, Lillian was in San Francisco and to call her cell phone.  Tomato season officially came to an end.

1 comment:

  1. Oof. Garden pests are such a kick to the gut. We have beetles in our squash, so I feel your pain.