May 11, 2022

I had mentioned several weeks ago that it was my intent to plant the Cherokee Purple (Solanum lycopersicum) tomato plants Melissa had purchased in the bed along the north side of the house.  Over the last years I never actually weeded this bed.  Instead, I took the weed eater several times and cut the area down to the ground, then cut out the small trees that seemed to love this side of the house.  When I went out to prep the bed it became apparent how much work it would take to get the bed read for planting.  I started looking for an alternative way to plant the tomatoes inside the patio fence.

My intent to plant the inground tomatoes outside the fence was to protect them from Zena.  When Eddie stayed with us several weeks ago the two of them took up the game of chase, where they tore around the pool and through the beds, finally ending by flopping down in the foliage of the Naked Ladies (Amaryllis belladonna) that proliferate the middle of the largest bed.  I did not pay much attention as the leaves were due to die anyway.  However, I was concerned when Zena began to romp through the Red Canna Lilies (Canna indica) I had transplanted last year and that come from Melissa’s grandmother’s yard.  My solution was to purchase 18-inch (45 cm) high fencing that I placed around the lilies, as well as the strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) that were beginning to flower.  I knew Zena could jump the fence if she wanted, but eventually she will be able to jump anything she wants so I thought I would try.  This did the trick as Zena now romps around the pool and avoids the fenced beds.

I knew my intent to plant the tomatoes inside the fence was now bolstered.  The cages around the container vegetables and the fencing around the inground beds were both working separately.  I re-prepped the bed by the bramble (Rubus fruticosus) and planted four of the purples and then caged the plants and fenced the bed.  Next, I expanded the strawberry fencing and caged the last two purples and the two Roma-like San Marzano (Lycopersicon esculentum.  Finally, I expanded the fencing around the lily and caged the beefsteak-like Delicious (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) and a Red Sweet 100 (Solanum lycopersicum) cherry tomato.  Maybe if I use a hoe, I might be able to prepare the north bed for the squash I had intended.

THOUGHTS:  When I purchased vegetables from the local market, they were all hybrid plants while the tomatoes Melissa purchased from the grower were heirlooms.  While heirlooms are grown from seed, hybrids are created by cross pollination using two different species.  Creating a hybrid version of a plant ensures genetic diversity, creates a stronger version of the two parent plants, and can create new vegetables and fruits.  Seedlings from heirloom seeds will replicate the parent, while seedlings from hybrid seeds could exhibit traits of one or both parents, may be something totally surprising, or it may be sterile and not grow at all.  First-generation hybrids make sense, but second-generation hybrids are iffier.  Humans do not have that problem.  The intent was we are all a single species.  Act for all.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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