The $640 Tomato

Well, I’m three weeks behind schedule but it’s finally done – I planted my garden.

My dad always had a garden when I was growing up. We used to drive down the street to Mayer’s farm and pick up a couple pails of manure to help fertilize the tomatoes. Dad always planted fifty to one-hundred tomato plants. He gave away most of them to his friends.

In his honor, I wanted a garden so big I could just give away the surplus of veggies.  What’s your favorite vegetable?  It’s probably in my garden.

My itty-bitty garden

I haven’t had a garden in, oh fifteen years? The last garden I had was a 4’x4′ square plot at an apartment complex in Atlanta. For those of you that have one of these mini-plots available – yes, you can grow corn in them.

I think I planted about twenty different things in that mini-plot just because I was so excited to have a garden.

So this is the first time I have had a real garden of my own. It measures 32’x48′. THAT is a garden.

The $640 tomato

If you want a funny book to read check out The $64 Tomato. It’s a hilarious account of a guy gardening for the first time and how expensive it was to do. He figured each tomato had cost him about $64 to grow.

I swear I’m going to end up with $640 tomatoes.  But I’ll be happy to give them away. Just to make this garden happen:

  • We had to have an electrician run a line to the neighbors well to power the pump. We are on severe water restrictions (no outdoor watering). But if you have a well you can water outside.
  • Our property is mostly clay, and on a slope. Blane, the guy who graded our lot when we built our house had to grade the garden area.
  • Then Blane had to haul in 6 dump truck loads of good quality dirt
  • Then Blane’s brother spent eight hours going up and down the driveway in his Bobcat. The dump truck can’t go down the driveway because it’s too steep. The Bobcat was used to haul the dirt down the hill to the garden.
  • The Bobcat compressed the dirt so much it was like concrete. I had to go to Home Depot and rent a rototiller. Home Depot is a three-hour round trip by-the-way.
  • Twenty 125-200 pound railroad ties were brought in to make a border for the garden. I arranged them myself. That was my workout for the day (week).
  • We got deer in these here parts. An online farming store supplied me with an 8′ deer fence to install. I’m not sharing with the deer.

At least the seeds were cheap.

My Garden
Check out my garden!

What’s cookin?

We went all out with the seeds. Even though we got a late start, we’re hopeful to get a lot of fresh veggies:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • roma tomatoes
  • beefsteak tomatoes
  • red onions
  • yellow onions
  • green onions
  • red bell peppers
  • yellow bell peppers
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • cayenne peppers
  • beets
  • carrots
  • yellow squash
  • zucchini
  • watermelon
  • sunflowers
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • radishes
  • black eyed peas
  • green peas
  • pinto beans

 

My little helpers. They love to eat dirt.

It’s days like these I miss my dad a lot. He’s been gone several years now. Today I just wanted to pick up the phone and say ‘hey, how should I plant these beet seeds?’

Follow me on Instagram to see how my garden progresses.