If you follow me on Instagram then you’re probably aware of my recent attempts at gardening. Our new place has a large outdoor area and it’s perfect for container gardening. We were here about a week before I headed off to Lowe’s for a couple of plants. I did no research ahead of time which was mistake #1. I ended up buying cilantro, parsley, indigo rose tomatoes, and citronella. Initially my intention was to buy plants we could eat so how citronella joined the fray, I’m not sure, but it smells nice.
I realized that mid-June was a bit late to plan a summer harvest so the one tomato plant was all I bought. I have started planning for Fall though so hopefully that garden has more in it. Right now I’m focused on those Indigo Rose tomatoes. So far they seem pretty easy to grow. We haven’t had any major issues and after only a couple of weeks we have 8 baby tomatoes on the vine!
Admittedly, I didn’t expect to have so many so soon. I’m starting to panic wondering how we’re going to eat so many. I’m pinning a boatload of tomato recipes on Pinterest, lol. We’re going to be eating tomatoes forever! I also told my mom we’re going to have to schedule a canning day at the end of summer. I know I’ll have to can a lot of these tomatoes into sauces so they don’t go to waste. Brandon wants to feed them to the local wildlife. After our deer vs car accident, I’m just not sure it’s good idea to encourage them to come around.
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Anyway, on to the tomatoes…
Growing an Indigo Rose Tomato Plant
I’ll update you again once we get to harvest. For now, here are a few of my (very) early lessons learned:
Buy a large container and bury them deep
My plant was tiny when I bought it. I had no idea it would grow so big so quickly! I bought a medium-sized terra cotta pot for it and transplanted it when I got home. Within a week I realized that wasn’t going to be big enough. I should have known, but I didn’t. I went back and bought a large pot but it outgrew that too. Eventually I went online and started doing research (remember how I mentioned a moment ago that not researching was mistake #1?). Turns out, I need a really, really large planter for these things!
Eventually I spotted this Gardener’s Revolution Classic Tomato Planter on My Pots and Planters. This is exactly what I need for my plant if I really want it to grow a harvest this year. It’s huge but it’s designed specifically for tomatoes. Mine are hanging on in their large pot but they need more room and they need it fast. You’re also supposed to bury 2/3 of the plant so you really need something deep. I totally failed at providing the right environment for my (not-so) little plant.
They need a lot of sun
The stake that came with my plant said “4-6 hours of direct sunlight”. I didn’t want to kill the plant so I obsessed over the light. Every day I moved it into the sun around 12pm and out around 6pm. Since I work from home moving the plant wasn’t a big deal. I was starting to feel a little frustrated though because it wasn’t looking quite as strong as it should. The leaves were a little droopy and the tops of the tomatoes weren’t turning black. One night I forgot to move it so the next day it got a lot more sun than expected and it perked right up! Two of my tomatoes are now black on top (as they should be). All is looking right in my tomato world now.
Turns out, I think the 4-6 hours of direct sunlight is a minimum requirement and there is no such thing as too much sun. At least, not for these things.
Expect a huge harvest
I mentioned this earlier but indigo rose tomatoes generate a huge harvest! My plant is still small but there are already 8 tomatoes on the vine. I’m obsessing over tomato recipes now so I can try to use them all up. I’d hate to see them go to waste. We will be eating and canning tomatoes all week once harvest time is here. Naively, I thought I might get a tomato or two a week. Haha! Joke’s on me for sure. At this rate I’ll be harvesting dozens of them.
Fortunately, Brandon being a vegetarian really ups our veggie consumption. I love roasted tomatoes with herbes de provence and parmesan so I guess I’ll be snacking on those a lot more often. I’m not 100% sure what Indigo Rose tomatoes taste like but I’ve heard they are mild and delicious. I’ll fill you in once I get them on our plates!
If you have any tomato recipes or gardening tips for me, tweet me @ashleyfromhp or share them in the comments below.