This will be the year of the tomato. My name has finally reached the top of the waiting list for a community garden plot! This plot will give me a place to plant my tomatoes far from my nemesis, the stink bug.
The area surrounding the gardens is blessedly free of blackberries, a haven for the cursed insect when it is not dining on tomatoes and vectoring diseases. In fact, the adjacent property is an open field, soon to be developed as a greenspace and hopefully more garden plots.
The plot is small, 10 x 10, but I am on a waiting list for a larger plot. In the meantime I will be trying the square foot garden spacing of 1 tomato plant/4 square feet. I can plant my cherry tomatoes at home as they seem to hold up under insect assault better than the larger cultivars. This leaves twelve heirloom tomato plants for the new plot, leaving room for beans, peppers and eggplant, basil and flowers.
I love community gardens. They bring together gardeners from diverse backgrounds and offer rich opportunities for learning. Strolling through the plots I noticed a wide range of designs and styles; a free form plot with meandering paths dividing irregular beds, a plot with radiating paths between wedge shaped beds and a raised center, built up beds surrounded by stones or wood, pots, and all manner of trellises ranging from bamboo teepees to sturdy wooden frames. Add the occasional lawn chair or rocker and a true cross-section of gardening personalities emerges.
Taken as a whole, these remind me of a themed patchwork quilt where each member contributes a distinctively personal square. The common thread is a celebration of all things growing. I am so looking forward to adding my little tomato patch to the mix!