Interrupting Darwin
Tuesday October 06th 2015, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Life,Wildlife

So what would you do with a volunteer tomato taking over the yard, flowering month after month but never setting a single fruit while the other tomatoes do? Keep waiting? Rip it out before it takes any more nutrients from the cherry tree above?

So that’s what was on my mind as I stepped out the door to start the Tuesday watering.

I’d noticed the little junco for a few days now.

Clearly I wasn’t the only one.

There it was on the box again, right next to me as I stepped onto the patio. With one eye gone and the other warily watching the sky, it didn’t take off till after I went past it and turned back again.

That post yesterday about being the boss of this place?

There, up on the telephone wire. I mentally apologized to the Cooper’s hawk for wrecking his breakfast and quickly got back in the house and out of the way.

He stayed there patiently another minute or so, feathers unruffled but a sure thing gone.

For now.

I finished the watering tonight and went off to the first night of a new knitting group; Alex found herself with a copy of my lace shawls book as a thank you. May there be many happy memories there to come.

3 Comments so far
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I had a volunteer cherry tomato this year and there’s been some fruit, but it didn’t get very big.

Having grown tomatoes from seed for the first time, I learned some things. (One is that Gypsy has the most amazing flavor!) Tomatoes begin to grow and have to be repotted a couple of times; once they have a second level of leaves you have to put them in something a little bigger and bury the new plant up to the level of the second leaves, then eventually do it again–the leaves will become roots. Without doing that the plant will grow up but be “leggy” rather than productive. Tomato plants actually need large root systems. I suspect that your volunteer just shot up and spread without having to sink down; all its energy has gone to leaves. (Look, sunshine, bask–who wants to do any work?)It’s probably not going to do anything at this point but mooch.

Comment by Marian S. 10.07.15 @ 8:57 am

I haven’t planted anything this year (or most years), but I have enjoyed tomatoes from many of my neighbors…yummm! This was a banner tomato year in OH, but I have no wisdom for your volunteer.

Comment by Pam 10.07.15 @ 10:10 am

Tomatoes are generally self-fertile and the wind is enough to knock the pollen around and do the job, but maybe your tomato wants help. Do you get bumblebees? They increase tomato yield (honeybees don’t, they don’t have the buzz to knock the pollen around and they can’t navigate the blossom). You might try flicking a set of blooms with your fingers and see if they set fruit. Also, if nights are too hot, fruit won’t set, but I don’t think it has been that hot for that long where you are.

Good luck!

Comment by twinsetellen 10.07.15 @ 5:38 pm

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