I’m going to admit now that my vegetable growing skills are pretty limited. I find the Texas heat and shear variety of critters that attack vegetables to be overwhelming, especially if you are going the organic route. I’ve tried and failed at cucumbers, squash, brussels sprouts, tomatillos and pumpkins. I’ve had the most success with eggplant and cayenne peppers. I’ve had marginal success with tomatoes, mostly in the cherry department. Still, year after year, despite dismal results, I plant tomatoes. I love the taste of them. I love how your hands smell after plucking them from the vine. And so every year in February you’ll find me researching new varieties to try. Last year, despite the drought, the Sungold Cherry Tomatoes I planted managed to set fruit. I decided to try them again. This year they have done even better helped along by the six inches rain we got in May. I find the taste of these tomatoes to be very sweet bordering on tropical.
I have never been able to grow large tomatoes. This is because my plants usually produce one large tomato that then gets carried off by some squirrel. They don’t even wait for the tomatoes to ripen. Instead they pick my single tomato while it is still green, then take one bite and leave it there for me to see on the ground. This year, I deployed a few methods of squirrel deterrent that don’t involve heavy weaponry.
I’m not sure if my success this year has to do with the miniature rubber snakes and bird netting or with the abundant rain and cooler temperatures we’ve gotten. I’d like to think it was the snakes.
Still, I’m happy with the results. Here’s a bowl full of Sungold cherry tomatoes in various stages of ripening, and Matina and Patio tomatoes, which are the larger varieties.
I also planted two more interesting varieties that have yet to ripen, Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple. Green Zebra is green with yellow striping and Cherokee Purple is purple with green shoulders. The squirrels and I are anxiously awaiting their arrival. Stay tuned for more.