Tuesday, July 7, 2009

They're A-L-I-V-E!!

I think I've mentioned on more than one occasion how we do not claim to have green thumbs. We don't have any real plants in our home. We have one fake one. We don't even take care of that very well...I finally realized that I was supposed to dust it. Yuck.

Anyway - when we look to our west we see this growing in our neighbor's backyard:

It's a bit intimidating, let me reassure you.

About a month ago Mike and I were over visiting our neighbors. They are Chinese and have been in the U.S. for around 10 years. Super nice couple. They were showing us their garden and explaining all the different vegetation they have growing all around their home. So Mike - thinking he's going to get in on some ancient Chinese growing secret - said, "So...did you learn all this growing up in China?" They looked at Mike with a blank or slightly confused stare and said with their thick accents, "No....we read how to grow gardens in the Star and Tribune."

Anyway - at that point we were offered tomato plants. They had some growing in containers and didn't need them all. Mike just looked at me with a smile on his face that said, "Go ahead...I dare you." Truthfully - we really aren't tomato-loving people. But, how could I refuse? So, we walked home with three tomato plants.

Somewhere in my genes there is plant growing ability. Tracy and Rob grow tons of stuff in a garden. My grandpa had a garden at least as big as our neighbors, if not bigger. I remember helping him dig up potatoes - a job I LOVED - and helping pick raspberries each summer.

So, I talked to Tracy about the containers I would need and was informed I really just needed to plant them in the ground. We don't really have many places to plant anything. So, I cleared some rock away from the fence and placed these little plants in there with a light pat of the soil and a small, "Good luck, guys" said under my breath.

I even remembered to water them. This is no small feat; I have dehydrated many a plant.

In the meantime the kids and I went and purchased three hanging potted plants to go in the new plant hanger that Mike and I decided to purchase. Because really...why not??? If this biology experiment worked, then we have nice colors in our backyard. If not - it's just one more thing to add to the garage sale at the end of the summer.

To add to this mix, we received a plant from a local Boy Scout. "Received" may be a loose term - we bought it. It was purely a guilt purchase because how do you turn away the Boy Scouts? I bought a Columbine because out of the 35 plants in the pictures it said, "full sun" and had a lot of flowers. How do you kill a plant that thrives in full sun I figured...it should be used to no water.

A couple weeks ago high school friends were over and I mentioned the tomato plants. I told them that even though we weren't getting actual tomatoes, the plants were growing little yellow flowers so I would be satisfied with this mild progress; at least they weren't dead. My friends informed me that those flowers would turn into the tomatoes and not to pick them off. I have to say, that bit of information almost made me hyperventilate. Could it be??? Would I really be able to grow something?

Tonight I yelled across the street to Kristy to ask about her tomato plants. She said she had little green ones. I drove away pouting because I checked a couple days ago and didn't see anything on our plants. When I got home, Mike was out working on the yard and casually said, "You know....you've got some tomatoes growing."

I stared at him wide-eyed and bolted to the backyard where Lo.And.Be.Hold!! I think I counted 10 tomatoes!!! We put the wire cages around them that Tracy advised us to put up weeks ago (lesson learned on that one...wire cages are hard to put around big tomato plants - just like she said they would be).

I ran in the house where Maddie, Samantha and Amanda were sitting and yelled, "I HAVE TOMATOES! I need to take a picture!" I believe Maddie rolled her eyes and said, "Why does she always need to take a picture?!?"

I'm a farmer!!!

Here's the proof:

The rest of the plants are still doing well.

Here's our Petunia. I'm not a fan of pink, but it's all that Lowe's had. We grew these in North Carolina and I loved going out everyday and picking the dead buds off. Very relaxing to me after a yucky day at work. Turns out I still like to go and pick off the old buds. I throw them in the fire pit we have. This slightly surprised Mike last night when he went to make a fire and saw all this old vegetation. He said for a second he thought we had a mouse nest started. He was happy it was just his lazy wife not wanting to walk up front to the garbage.

This is some type of geranium, I believe. I'm supposed to be able to pick the flowers from it (like the petunia) so that new buds will sprout. I haven't figured out what exactly to pick - the actual flowers or the stems they sprout from. I do a little of each - basically whatever falls off in my hand.

This one...I have no idea. I accidentally threw away the spike thing that tells about the plants when you buy them. Really...kind of an ugly plant up close - it looks kind of vicious in real life - I managed to successfully blur out the ugly parts. But, again...slim pickings at Lowe's.

This is the Columbine. In the brochure it has a gazillion flowers. Miracle Grow's best efforts have not produced a single petal of any shape or size. But again...still living.

This is weedis-maximus.

We actually have a hard time NOT growing these.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Farmer. Next year you will have to expand into Radishes and Cucumbers. The flowers really look great. My tomatoes are about the size of tennis balls now. Should be ready to eat by August. Keep on watering.


Kerry said...

Tennis Balls?!? Wow! You are the uber-farmer! Actually my neighbor mentioned what type of tomatoes these were, but I don't recall (my head was spinning from the idea I was going to try growing these). But, I don't think these are the type to get really big. Maybe we'll end up liking them more than regular tomatoes.

Missy said...

Sounds like you are on your way to being a farmer. Can't wait to see them in person. Aaron is counting down the days he tells me three more days. See ya soon.