It’s been a few years since I’ve grown tomatoes. When I bought my tomato plants several weeks ago, I knew the varieties I wanted to plant: Sweet 100, Patio, Brandywine, Brandyboy, and Dona. Dona is an early variety that I discovered was more flavorful than Early Girl but was not available the day I shopped so I bought and planted Juliet instead. Juliet is another variety I’d tried in the past, a Roma-like tomato, oblong and flavorful.
I’m enjoying my new garden but I’ve had my share of “tomato drama” this week. I’d inspected all the plants Saturday and I’d even tied up some branches a few days before that; I thought everything was fine. I did consider cutting up a pair of pantyhose to use for support, something I learned from Martha Stewart 25 years ago, but didn’t get around to it. I was shocked when I looked out Sunday morning to see three of my five tomato plants crumpled over from their weight. When I flew outside to check on them, I saw that several of the main branches on each were snapped or cracked. I spent several hours Sunday morning trying to repair the damage and pruning off lots of broken stems and tossing tomato flowers that had broken off. I finally cut up the pantyhose but I decided I still needed tomato cages despite the trellis. I used the three I had and added a few support stakes to help keep the tomato plants upright.
All is well now and the tomatoes seem to be thriving and growing. The ambrosia melon is already putting out tendrils so I suspect it will enjoy using the trellis for its intended purpose. Wednesday afternoon when I looked closely at the tomatoes, there, tucked deep under the leaves near the bottom, was a cluster of three Juliet tomatoes. They were probably tiny and pea sized on Sunday when I was untangling the snarl of branches and leaves and flowers so I didn’t notice them. Wednesday, they were the size of large marbles. Juliet has proven to be the “early girl” of this bunch.
I took the shot using my macro lens and stacked several together to get more of the fruit in focus. What fascinates me about macro photography is that I always discover things I didn’t notice with the naked eye. In this shot, the tomatoes themselves are covered in fine hairs. I always knew that the tomato plants were covered with fine hairs but I wasn’t aware that the tomatoes (at least the Juliet variety) themselves are, too!