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Some time back, my wife decided that she wanted a garden.  To toil, labor, and by the sweat of her brow, grow her very own organic vegetables.  And as you saw, we got it done – a little 6′ x 3′ bed.  Not wanting to bite off more than we could chew, we thought we’d start small.  Lettuce, tomatoes, and basil sounded simple enough.  So into the ground went the seeds and our little basil plant from the farmers market.      TomatoesWe didn’t distribute the seeds properly and probably should’ve taken into consideration the time of year (right in the middle of summer in Central Texas!), but we fertilized and made sure we were diligent with our watering.  And by the grace of God, we soon saw our first little sprouts.  MJ was ecstatic!

TomatoesAfter a good hard rain and after the seedlings had established some true leaves, we separated them apart to give them a li’l breathing room.  Some went into pots (sorry little tomato plants…we don’t do so good with the pots) and the others went back into the garden bed.


Nosy little dog…

At this point, I thought my work was done.  Of course, I was going to help with the watering and be there for moral support :), but I was ready to let MJ take the lead and grow the garden of her dreams.  However, it was at about this time that MJ’s presence in the garden…well, pretty much became nonexistent.  But oh, no.  I wasn’t about to let all of our work go down the drain.  It’s just not in my nature.  TomatoesThe seedlings continued to grow at a rapid pace, and before I knew it, it was time to sacrifice some of my li’l beauties to create enough space for the mature plants to stretch out their limbs.  It was a sad day for me.  I didn’t want to uproot any of them, but I knew it had to be done.  With some little rain showers here and there, the temperatures didn’t get too unreasonable and the tomato plants continued to thrive.

I was really starting to feel good about myself.  Things were growing lush and green which naturally…attracted pests.  I was so worried about hornworms that I didn’t even consider the possibility of other bugs.  First came the pinworms, then the leaf miners, and then the cabbage loopers.  I was devastated.  I actually became so paranoid, that any insect I saw instantly became my enemy.  Earwigs, ants, ladybugs, lacewings..little did I know that some of these critters are actually beneficial in keeping the pest population down.  I even shooed away a toad.  Sigh…


So what happened to the lettuce?  Don’t ask.  I’d rather not think about it.  To fill out the empty spaces of our garden, we picked up a couple more basil plants, and we also grabbed a bottle of spray to keep away the voracious larvae.  Don’t worry.  We went with something that would still keep our plants considered organic :).


The tomato plants, as well as the basil, just kept on growing…and growing.  MJ couldn’t come up with enough recipes that included basil.  Even after giving away a large bunch to our friends, we still had more to spare.  Not to be outdone, the tomato plants nearly hit 8 feet before I had to top them off.  But more so than the impressive height, these little gems are what put a smile on my face…


After weeks of seeing flowers with no fruit, I was convinced that we just weren’t going to get anything.  And then, slowly but surely, little buds starting popping up where flowers once were.


You thought I was joking earlier when I said MJ’s presence in the garden had become nonexistent?  Ha!  I had to put on my best puppy dog face to get her to come out to see my baby tomatoes.  Even then, she hurled the excuses at me – “I have to finish my paper”…”I don’t want to get bit by the mosquitoes”…”do I have to?” – so I grabbed her by the hand and dragged her outside.

Casualties of pruning…

Although more and more little tomatoes started peaking out from behind the blossoms, they stayed small.  So I decided to do some pruning (so sad…) and devoted my attention to the remaining 30 or 40 tomatoes that I had growing.  And after nearly 4 months, I woke up one Saturday morning to this beautiful sight…

I stayed outside for a while just admiring the red glow of the fruit and the spider that decided to camp out on my tomato.  It’s funny how what started out as a kind gesture for my wife ended up being a labor of love for me.  I can’t lie.  I was a bit irritated when MJ started to shun her garden responsibilities and dump everything on me, but it all worked out for the best.  I really had a blast watching the plants grow and mature, and MJ didn’t have to deal with the vermin of a backyard garden.

*****Sadly, while writing this post, we were hit with flood-causing rains and almost all my tomatoes burst due to the excessive water in such a short amount of time.  I hope to salvage some of the fruit, but it’s not looking so good.  Oh well, maybe I we can try this again in the spring.




About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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  1. Yeah for gardens and beautiful tomatoes. Whenever I try to grow mine they always get attacked by bugs! Grrr.. Thanks for sharing at Show Stopper Saturday!

    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

  2. So sorry about your tomatoes! 🙁
    MJ sounds just like me! I wanted a garden so badly last year and the hubby ended up doing it. I always had excuses not to go outside…including the mosquitoes excuse! 🙂

  3. Aw, bless you both – you have done so brilliantly with your efforts and produce! I think we all have some hit and misses but it’s great you got some great crops from your planting 🙂

    1. Thanks so much. They truly were a sight to behold. I’m hoping that the few tomatoes that survived the rain will turn out just as nice. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. Looks good – We had great luck with tomatoes this year too! Also, experienced the same thing with them bursting though due to over fertilization. Tours had stretch marks / scars on them but still tasted great. If you cool down the ones with scars on them, you don’t really notice at all

    1. I really wasn’t expecting anything to grow considering we got off to such a late start in the year. I know I should be thankful for the recent rain, but it was so unrelenting that my little fruits just couldn’t handle all the water. They didn’t suffer from unsightly stretch marks…they blew up! I could see straight through to the seeds. I really do hope I get to try this again. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Wow!! It must be amazing to see the plants grow before your eyes and bear fruit – and these tomatoes look beautiful! This really is whole foods at its best!! Way to go Tim! And Min, haha, one mosquito bite to see these beauties, totally worth it! Sending love to you two!

    1. Thankfully MJ didn’t get bit by anything or then I really never would’ve seen her in the garden again. Maybe I’m a li’l biased but I think we grew the best basil I’ve ever tasted ;). Thanks for the love!

  6. Hello, MJ . Tim look so proud with the tomatoes. I was the same when my husband planted tomatoes this summer. I always find delight on how the fruits change in color. When it was time to harvest them, I felt so proud . There is just this distinct joy of harvesting your own ingredients. I am just sorry that the rain devastated your ” crop” . Yup, there is still hope next spring 🙂

    1. I truly was proud in that moment when I first saw the tomatoes budding. And being able to run out to the backyard when MJ needed some basil was a treat. Talk about a fresh ingredient! Thanks for making it through my epic novel :).