Monday, March 2, 2009

how many tomatoes, is too many?

lets be real - tomatoes are the only reason i really vegetable garden. dont get me wrong, i really like other vegetables and appreciate each and everyone i grow. but - tomatoes are the real deal and the end all be all of my vegetable gardening experience. if i could not grow tomatoes, it would be difficult for me to muster the enthusiasm for vegetable gardening that i have today.

i cant wait until i get my first - home grown, vine ripened - tomato every year. in fact my first tomato is usually picked a bit sooner than optimal - because i cant wait any longer for my first tomato. once i get that out of my system, i look for optimum ripeness of my 'maters.

so what is the point of this non-sensical post? it goes back to a conversation i had with my wife. i was pontificating (its been awhile since i could work that word in sentence) on what would be the maximum tomato plants i could grow in my new garden. i was thinking about 100 plants. but really, given space for tomato cages and room for growth - i dont think 100 plants is truly feasible.

But!, my real point is - i want to plant enough tomatoes that i can supply enough for me for the entire season and have enough to give out extras to friends and family. i would rather have an abundance of them and throw the extras in the compost pile - then to come up short.

this years tomato math is a little different, as my friend 'keith' - who is growing my seeds, will have to be supplied with tomatoes - and at the same level as i expect for myself. i was originally planning on growing 24 plants - 9 more than last year - but is that going to be enough?

will i have to go from 24 plants, to 30 plants? i know i will have enough room, but is 30 even enough? i have some work to do, determining tomato layout in the beds - how to stagger the plants within the bed to get the maximum number of plants i can in a given bed. i'm probably going to start looking at 36 plants - that should be enough.....

yeah, right.....

1 comment:

  1. The sad truth
    Don't go crazy on my account. I simply enjoy gardening and the only way I can get my fix in is to grow seedlings, and the plants in my fish tank -- none of which are edible. This is how I have satisfied my green thumb for the past couple of years. Besides, I'm going to grow some tomatos out front with the pumpkins & sunflowers. Keep in mind there is one sad reality of seedlings -- not all of them will make the final cut (pun intended). Some will be too weak or simply fail for one reason or another. I typically have less than 10% failure, including those that don't germinate. So far your seedlings did great. I believe all of them germinated -- so the double and triples were cut down already -- but there is still time for those little buggers to die.