If you’ve started vegetables from seed, then wondered, “where in the world did that come from,” you will identify with this gardening oops, or GOOPs, tale. On the first of each month I share one of the gardening oops I’ve made or dealt with during my decades of gardening in Connecticut hoping to either prevent other gardeners from making similar blunders, or at least offer some GOOPs solace for those with similar tales. My GOOPs tale this month is not one I made, but one of a cherry tomato surprise.
I have limited vegetable gardening space, thanks to voles that totally undermined my former vegetable beds. Until construction of new raised beds is completed (a project that’s taking longer than I hoped) I grow tomatoes in large pots. I order seed after carefully reading and analyzing multiple seed catalogues and choosing the exact varieties I’d like to grow. My favored cherry tomato is Sweet Million; one plant provides ample red cherry tomatoes with a wonderfully sweet flavor. Still, I like to try different cherry tomato varieties.
This year I decided to try Red Currant, an heirloom tomato described as producing hundreds of tiny, tasty fruit on three-foot tall vines that can thrive in leaner soil. This sounded like a potentially doable potted tomato. Because of space issues I only planted three cherry tomato plants – one Sweet Million and two Red Currants.
The Sweet Million has performed as expected … lots of wonderfully sweet cherry tomatoes.
The two Red Currant plants are also producing lots of tiny cherry tomatoes but …
just one plant produces red fruit.
The other plant, from the same packet of seeds, produces yellow fruit.
Normally I happily accept such surprises but the fruit from these two plants has been less than memorable. If these are, in fact, Red Currant tomatoes and the yellow one is just a fluke, then I now know what the word ‘tart’ means when describing tomato flavor. If I were to buy these tomatoes at a farm stand, I would not do so again. Likewise, I will not grow Red Currants again in my garden.
The tiny fruit is cute but I don’t find the tart flavor pleasing and the red-fruited plant produces more cracked than non-cracked fruit.
By contrast, the yellow-fruited ‘supposed’ Red Currant produces few cracked fruit, but the flavor is less than sweet.
My cherry tomato surprise is just part of this season’s tomato mystery, but it’s a reminder that sometimes gardening oops are blunders of our making but events thrust upon us. We can learn from every gardening experience, and it’s especially good to share so we can learn from each other.
Do you have a GOOPs of your own to share, either tomato-related or not? Tell your tale in a comment below or on your blog, leaving a link below so I can find you.