No matter how you say it, we’re going to have a lot of them this summer — I hope. It started with an impulse buy at Home Depot. I can’t help myself. It was back in mid-March when it was cold and snowy — and they had tomatoes! I only bought two Beefsteak Tomatoes and two Husky Cherry Tomatoes and nurtured them in the greenhouse, up-potting them numerous times as they out-grew their pots. And then I started seeds — San Marzano tomatoes, tiny yellow pear tomatoes (Arianna’s favorite) and some green/purple striped tomatoes (another impulse buy when I was at the Philadelphia Farm and Food Festival). And then there was the trip to my Amish food market, which unfortunately is positioned right next to an Amish garden center — and they had 4-packs of Amish paste tomatoes for only $1.29! Another impulse buy — that got up-potted and grew like crazy over the last two months. My greenhouse was over-run with tomatoes.
Sunday was Mother’s Day — that magical day of the year when you can finally plant tomatoes in southeastern Pennsylvania. And… the forecast is for continued warm weather for the foreseeable future. So I planted. There are two huge Beefsteaks, two almost huge Husky cherry tomatoes, two really big Amish paste tomatoes, two yellow pear tomatoes, four nice-sized San Marzano tomatoes — and four purple/green tomato plants that are kind of wimpy because they got a late start. That’s sixteen tomato plants! I have more in the greenhouse — but no room in the garden. I’ll just have to be content with 16 tomato plants.
The internet says a single tomato plant can produce 20 to 30 pounds of tomatoes. Let’s just average that at 25 pounds per plant by 16 plants. I’ve never been good at math — but I think that’s a BIG number. Come mid-summer when I’m up to my elbows in dripping tomatoes and hot jars for canning all of these tomatoes — remind me I may want to check my math next year.