Tomato Triage

The storm that came through on Saturday night did a number on my tomato plants.  I woke up Sunday morning to find 6 tomato plants and the tomatillo plant flat on the ground (and on the basil, edamame, beans, and a couple of the pepper plants).   Lovely.  So, after a quick stop at Menards on the way home from church, I was armed with a dozen six-foot bamboo stakes, ready to spend a couple of hours in the blazing heat (I believe the heat index was 103 that day) to save my garden.

And wow, did I ever underestimate this job! 

Five hours later, I was hot, muddy, and out of stakes with three more plants to go.  I knew the plants were growing like crazy (and actually, picking up some stakes to reinforce the tomato cages was already on my to-do list for the weekend before the storm), but I had no idea just how much TLC they needed.

Take, for example, these before and after pictures of the "German Giant" tomato plant:

For reference, the raised bed is just shy of one foot off the ground and the fence is six feet tall.  No wonder they were so top heavy!

Fortunately, there were no tomato casualties--just one green roma tomato fell off and a handful of foliage here and there (probably a good thing for getting those green tomatoes to ripen).  Unfortunately, the tomatillo plant did not make it--which was a bummer--but at least it hadn't set on any fruit yet, so I didn't feel as bad when I had to toss it in the yard waste bin.  I also had to spend quite a bit of time staking up the edamame and pepper plants after they spent a night under the weight of the tomatoes.

Monday afternoon brought more storms, so it was Tuesday night before I could get back into the garden with another dozen stakes to finish up the job.  Things are looking much better now (as evidenced above).  All this time in the garden the past few days has made me even more anxious for the coming weeks when the garden will really be in full swing.  I already have a couple of days worth of recipes queued up for this weekend (posts to follow) that I can't wait to try out!

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