I decided this year that I would grow tomatoes in pots and place them on my terrace. I was inspired to do this when John Coykendall, Master Gardener from Blackberry Farms, visited our office and gave me the seeds to get started. Our next-door neighbor, Dr. Michael Blum, has an incredible green thumb. So, I took the seeds to Michael immediately, and he later presented me with five plants—I knew he would know just what to do!
I was enthralled with John Coykendall as he shared his love of gardening and cultivating plants. Read his bio from Blackberry Farms HERE to learn more about him.
Master Gardener John Coykendall explored the world of gardening at an early age with his grandfather, Congressman John Jennings. Coykendall always knew he wanted to create and care for some of the finest produce in the world.
Traveling through Europe and across the United States, Coykendall has collected not only great secrets but also seeds from the most successful gardens in the world. He brings the knowledge of decades in the garden, along with centuries-old heirloom seeds that he has collected from the region and all over the world.
I originally wanted Michael to grow the tomatoes and bring them to me, which he does regularly, but when plants came, I decided that I could do this! I recalled John Coykendall’s encouragement, and I was ready to go!
When the five little plants came to live with me, I planted each of them in larger pots so that they could really have space to grow. Every morning I go out and check their progress and see if we are going to have a bumper crop. Below is my first harvest photo! Now bear in mind, these are all heirloom tomatoes and come in various sizes and colors.
My first picking was a single tiny Cades Cove Currant tomato! I didn’t know tomatoes could be so small! At first, I thought, “My goodness, it will take a handful to even get a taste!” But as the plants keep bearing, I began getting full handfuls just about every day. Neal still laughs at my teeny harvest!
My favorite is a yellow “peach” tomato that has a skin like a peach and is an absolute delicacy. I made a Caprese salad with these, and it was divine! Simply cut them into slices, layer them between slices of fresh mozzarella, and garnish with fresh basil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, or your favorite balsamic dressing. Yummy!
Next summer I may try my hand at planting tomatoes in the ground instead of pots—who knows! But it is really fun, and there is nothing like fresh tomatoes!
What are you growing in your garden?