Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Garden Wars Of Aught-Eleven

future tom
I speak primarily of the big one: the Aphid War of 2011. Then there was the White-Fly Skirmish of the same year. And though it pains me to bring it up, I won't soon forget the Great Snail Ambush... we lost a lot of good basil in that one. They caught us unprepared there. It won't happen again.

Pest Control to Maj. Tom
The Aphids though, they were a tough bunch. As challenging an adversary as I'd ever come up against. But I persevered. I stood my ground and cried out "Remember the basil!" as I doused the tomatoes with soap spray. Over and over... day after day. In the end, I was victorious and the tomatoes were safe. I just hope the little creeps didn't send for reinforcements.

Gardening isn't usually all that serious around here... except when it comes to tomatoes*. And after last year's utterly dismal display of tomato productivity, I am fiercely protective over what is shaping up to be a bountifully good year for my favorite summer fruit.** That's right, fiercely. It has brought out my inner-Rambo.

The 2011 Line-Up...
Black Cherry: just like it sounds, a new one for us, sharing a barrel with the Super Marzano
Brandywine: beefsteak, in ground, third time's the charm?
Early Girl: salad-size, old favorite, in ground (front yard)
Nyagous: burgundy flesh, med-large, new variety for us, in ground
Sun Gold: yellow cherry, very productive, old favorite, in ground (front yard) 
Super Marzano: 5" long paste tomato, new to us, sharing a barrel with Black Cherry (the majority of the aphid action was fought here, at Marzano)

When choosing the varieties we would plant this year, Hubs wanted lots of his favorite cherry toms while I wanted at least one Roma and a couple of the larger varieties. My argument being that the Goat Cheese-Tomato Tart and caprese salad that he loves so much just don't work as well with the little cherries.

I might have also reminded him of how phenomenally amazing BLT's and burgers are with big thick slices of sweet homegrown tomato on them. Yeah, I know, I fight dirty... just ask the aphids.
...(if you can find any)

What are your favorite tomato varieties? Or do you side with the aphids? (it's o.k., I promise I won't go after you with the soap spray)...

* and blueberries, and basil...
** It's weird to think of tomatoes as fruits, but fruits they are. Just ask any 5 year old.
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