I had a moment of clarity on my way to work the other day.
I realized there is no law that says I have to grow tomatoes in the garden every year! There is an unspoken assumption that any backyard gardener worth their merits grows tomatoes. Even novices often begin with tomato plants. This assumption had worked its way into my brain until I was finally able to break free from it, thinking – what would life be like if I didn’t plant a single tomato this year?
What WOULD it be like, you ask? Well, for starters, there will be:
- No need to scrub down metal cages to remove last year’s pathogens, or figure out new and creative plant supports,
- No leggy tomato seedlings drowning in the first spring rain,
- No vast green sprawl of tomatoes growing all over the garden,
- No yellowing, brown, floppy blighted plants,
- No picking squishy green hornworms off the tomatoes and drowning them,
- No chipmunks taking tiny bites out of almost-ripe fruits,
- And an abundance of delicious, beautiful, juicy tomatoes from the tailgate market less than a mile from my house!
Say what you will – I am perfectly happy with this decision. 2014 is the Year of Tomato-Free Gardening at our house!