Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Neophyte Gardener

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: garden, tomato,

Jean TellerMost people who like to play in the dirt have probably had their gardens planned for a long time now. I suspect it’s actually a constant thing – a continual revising of the garden in one’s head, imagining the colors, the textures, the produce. How it will look and all work together. Even dreaming of the harvest to come, and the preserving of the wonderful treasures coming from your very own garden, I’m sure are part of mental gardening.

Those of us who haven’t gardened much in the past (or none at all, as the case may be), are just now thinking of a semblance of a garden. In my case, it also helps that the six sedum my sister and I transplanted last fall are all, yes, count them, all, showing green. Still no word from the hostas (we split and transplanted eight) on how they survived the transplant and winter. Remember my Garden Headaches post?

So green showing in my front garden, houseplants that are doing well, a series of novels set in a greenhouse (lots of talk of flowers, seeds, propagation, grafting and the like) and a kitchen garden article in our May/June issue of Grit have all combined to start my mind whirling.

I’m going to container garden this year.

How many tomato seedlings do I plant?

Well, that’s the plan anyway. I’d like to start with at least two containers on the back porch (it’s a slab of concrete outside my sliding glass doors, but I call it a patio) with one tomato plant, at least, and the other … Well, I haven’t made up my mind yet.

I miss homegrown tomatoes. A former neighbor planted almost half his backyard in tomato plants, and he was kind enough to keep me supplied with gorgeous fruit all summer long. I’d like that experience again, just with fewer numbers, I hope.

Yummy, tomatoes fresh from the vine.

So I’ve decided. It’s time to get over my dislike of playing in the dirt. I can get my hands dirty, I can handle the bugs and the heat. I can do this.

Now all I have to do is decide on the containers!

Any suggestions for this neophyte gardener?

A tomato plant in a container sounds like a good solution to my need for fresh tomatoes.


Photos from top:; dirkr; kkgas