I have been learning plant families recently and learned that a lot of the most common fruit and root vegetables we eat daily are from the Solanaceae family. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes, for example, are from this one family. They produce food crops, so these plants need a lot of energy, most importantly sun and water, nutrients, and a frequent care.
Tomatoes are so much fun to grow. This year we are trying out several varieties in our raised beds. We have Celebrity, Better Bush, Early Girls, Super Sweet 100, and Beefsteak. I did forget to keep the tags from the original pots so now they are all mixed up and I can’t figure out which is which. But one thing we know is that all of them love growing in our newly installed raised beds. The containers they were in limited their growth and they are happily thriving in a larger space with deeper soil.
Tomato plants are not rabbits’ favorites so no rabbit issue with them so far. We used to have issues with rabbits feasting on our veggies and also our dog Eggy secretly eating them (until she got caught). After a lot of reading and asking for wisdom from long-time gardeners, a few tips below work for us this year to keep rabbits (and Eggy) away from our crops:
Plant rabbit-resistant veggies, herbs, and flowers. I found this article Rabbit-proof Plants on Thespruce.com quite helpful. It is great that a lot of common vegetables and ones we like to grow and eat are rabbit-resistant. I was thrilled to learn that there are quite a few veggies that rabbits do not like. Tomatoes, peppers are some of them. Check out the article, like me you might find some good news and encouragement for your edible gardening journey.
Because rabbits (and bugs) don't like most herbs and veggies with strong scent, we planted a ton of these around our fruit veggie plants and that seems to help keep rabbits and bugs away. In the same beds where our veggie plants are, we planted oregano, onions, and mint.
Growing tomatoes also teaches us patience. It is almost like a form of meditation. It takes 3-4 weeks from the time you’re so excited seeing little green tomatoes to when they are ready for the kitchen. But the wait is so worth it. Homegrown tomatoes are usually smaller than store bought, but much sweeter and tastier. It is also fun to walk out to the garden every morning and check on their progress.
Since we moved our tomatoes to the large raised beds, they have been producing well and consistently. We haven't bought tomatoes from the grocery store for a couple of months. Definitely recommend growing tomatoes if you are looking for a fruit veggie plant for your garden.
I also found this podcast Truth About Tomatoes from Nicole Burke quite interesting, educational, and informative. If you have time and are interested in learning more about tomatoes, check it out!