tomatoes

Tomato Gardening on My Terrace

Phyllis Lifestyle 11 Comments

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.

John CoykendallMaster 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.

tomato garden on the terraceI 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. 

Cades Cove Currant tomatoMy 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!

caprese salad with yellow peach tomatoMy 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?

Comments 11

  1. How fun to plant heirloom tomatoes! I love the yellow and orange variety of tomatoes the best. And that salad looks delicious! Will have to try one of those soon. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I just showed my husband your tomato harvest and we are both so envious! We have tried growing tomatoes but usually without much success . We do live in a different zone of course up here in Toronto, but people do have wonderful tomatoes in their gardens here. Growing up I remember my parents always planting tomato plants and the tomatoes were so delicious. Not sure what has changed or what we are doing wrong. This year spring was late and so was summer, so the only edibles we planted were herbs. There was however, no dill around anywhere.Next year we will seriously attempt growing tomatoes again and possibly some lettuce as well. Any tips for growing good tomatoes would be greatly appreciated!!

    1. I am a novice this year. My dad who passed away last October grew enough tomatoes for our entire family. My only suggestion is pot in good soil. Its fun to watch them grow.!

    1. Right now, the small tomatoes are growing on a bush-type plant. The others are literally leaning up against the railing. I am going to put a stake in the pots and losely tie them up as the weight of the tomatoes are pulling branches down.

  3. What a great story of gardening! Your tomatoes are wonderful and bet they taste as good as they look! Thanks for sharing your growing tips and Caprese Salad!

  4. Oh I love this! We’re trying to grow our own little cherry tomatoes at FrenchGardenHouse too, and I love them. But that tiniest little Cades Cove Currant has piqued my curiosity…I think I’m going to want to grow those. Adorable!

  5. Beautiful! (And the mini one is amazing.)
    I have tried growing some in large pots and they were OK. In fact, sometimes, the things I grow in pots actually turn out miniature, when I don’t intend them to be!
    This year, I didn’t even try to grow any vegies ( yes, technically a fruit), but I did plant some garlic around my pink geraniums because the rabbits ate so many geraniums last year. I thought geraniums were safe from rabbits, but apparently the pink ones aren’t! LOL Trouble is, now the tops have withered and I don’t know where they are planted so I will end up having to dig up all around the geraniums! So, maybe I will just leave them?
    Thank you so much for your beautiful magazine and blog!

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