Too Much of A Good Thing

I have promised myself I’ll pull out the self-sown seedlings in the vegetable garden in the next round, some of which will be thrown back in the compost pile and some replanted in a more manageable space.   I use compost extensively in both flower and vegetable gardens and that’s where the volunteer seedlings came from.  I don’t put just shredded leaves and cut grass in the compost, but also vegetable, fruit, eggshells and coffee grounds in it too.  Somehow these kitchen scraps seem to help speed the composting process, but it poses one problem.  Any seed in the compost will grow wherever I put it.

I came back from a vacation in early June and found that I have a surfeit of tomato seedlings growing all over the gardens, the flower beds and especially the vegetable area.  Almost a foot tall and healthy looking tomato plants.  It would have been a waste if I just pulled them out and threw back in the compost pile so I dug some of them out and offered to plant them in my neighbor’s garden as well as offering them to colleagues.  After distributing many of the plants, I still have plenty of them, and not a clue what they are going to produce.  They mostly turned out to be cherry tomatoes, a couple of them are White Tomesol.

Now we have more cherry tomatoes than we can eat and they are growing so fast that they over-power the large tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Rose tomato and White Tomesol) that I intended to grow.   Rogue tomatoes have also invaded the rose beds and cozied up to the moonflowers.  I stopped feeding them early in the season with the hope that they’ll not become monstrous tomatoes.  It didn’t help.  They grow as fast as beans and flower profusely.  We’ve been picking ten pounds of cherry tomato every couple of days and have been sharing them with everyone we can think of.  It’s been, so far, probably 150 pounds and still more of them on the vine.    By the end of the season I’ll freeze some of them for winter.

As much as I like to eat tomatoes, this year I really felt overwhelmed.  I’ll have to be more firm about pulling the seedlings out next year.

A forest of cherry tomatoes

White Tomesol on the right got pushed out.

This one is growing right next to the roses