Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Surprising Update On My Last Season Volunteer Tomato Plant

I told you recently about my little late season volunteer tomato I discovered just shy of one month ago.

Today I wanted to give you an update on his progress...because he continues to progress in spite of lots of things working against him.  The first thing working against him is the fact that it is now October -I would have already cleared the plants from this summers garden out by this time.  But this little guy is a survivor and really wants to continue to grow.

That was proven just last week when we had our last heavy rain of the summer monsoon season, and I made the mistake of sitting this Alaska Grow Bucket too near my rain water collection barrel.  I don't have an overflow system on this collection barrel, so when the heavy rains filled the barrel to the top, the rest poured over the edge and into the Alaska Grow Bucket with such force that it washed the soil out of the bucket, leaving the tomato plants completely uprooted.  I thought, "Well, that's it for this little guy." But I couldn't just let it die that easily, so I pulled some of the soil out of another bucket that wasn't used, and tried to gently place the soil around the roots of the tomato plant and filled the bucket back up to the top.

A few days later I checked on the tomato plant and it was doing just was standing tall, with strong stalk and stems, and no limpy leaves even.  And guess what?  It now had four little flowers.  Since it is way so late in the year there's was no hope of any bee's coming along to pollinate it, so I hand-pollinated it myself.  See instructions here on how to do that, it's really easy.

I wasn't optimistic that these flowers would actually become tomatoes, but this little plant wasn't giving up, so how could I?   Two days later I was checking its water level and look what I found?  Look closely there (see the pink arrow) and you will see a tiny little tomato bud right behind that drying is growing!!!

[Volunteer Tomato plant blooming, pollinated flower growing a tomato. Plant is now 27-30 days old.]

Here is what the whole plant looks like now.  He is just thriving so nicely!

[My volunteer tomato at 27-30 days old.]

Keeper of 1 husband, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 16 Chickens!
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