By Pravin Trivedi
At what cost? Ever since we have moved into a condominium from a large house, we have been trying to grow tomatoes on our deck. It started with an outlay of capital for pots, wires, potting soil and so on. The first year wasn’t a full growing season but we did get a ten-dollar tomato out of it. The second year was better, giving us a return of fifteen-dollar tomato.
This year, we were given another opportunity of complete rest, stay at home, and not going anywhere. What more would an avid gardener wish for?? We were charged with ideas and our deck was filled with plants that left us with little room to sit in. We got planters and bought a large tomato plant, a cherry tomato plant, a hot pepper plant and were given a nice red flowering Impatiens plant. You would think you were in a professional horticulturalist’s garden!
As days went by, our neighbors were thinking of putting an inspection station at the condo entrance to ensure no more plants snuck in to take residence on our deck. They were going to sign a petition not to allow an increase in size of decks attached to the condos.
Then the problems started. We had flowers on the plants. No tomatoes. That went on for a few days. Then we got green tomatoes for a few weeks, followed by tomatoes with black bottoms, one or two green chilies and many more flowers. We reacted to every situation. We frantically searched for solutions on YouTube. We moved the plants into the sun, then out of the sun. Sometimes twice a day. Watered them, then did not water them. Watered them at night, watered them in the morning. We could hardly walk on the deck because the plants now owned the deck. We now have a steady supply of red tomatoes but are exhausted by the end of the day. Perhaps we will put an ad in our condo paper, “Plant supplies for next year, free from our condo. We’ll deliver.”