Urban Gardening

Earlier this Spring I picked up a few little baby San Marzano tomato plants. I got really excited about "harvesting the crops" from my urban dwelling ... and then very quickly lowered my expectations. I decided I would be happy if I got just 1 ... maybe 3 of my favorite tomatoes.

As the summer has gone on, I've adjusted to life as an urban gardener. My tomato plant quickly outgrew my kitchen sill. It battled several heatwaves while I ran away to the burbs. There was even an incident with some size-able hail in May. There were incidents where it rained for days ... and most recently when it hasn't even rained at all.

All the while, I've patiently hoped for my first tomato. Well FOLKS... today is the day my first baby San Marzano tomato is born... and I'm obviously quite proud of it. I have plans to turn the existing pile of tomatoes in my apartment into this summer tomato sauce, but maybe I'll just eat this baby with some olive oil and chunky salt.
The last couple of weeks I've been "battling" a rough case of blossom end rot on my fire escape. I know far more about the causes of the problem than how I can actually solve the issue. Essentially, blossom end rot comes from a lack of nutrients getting to the fruit - specifically calcium. Tomatoes love calcium. There are a few factors that can lead to BER(my acronym, not the internets):
(1) by over fertilizing which I was probably guilty of with my Miracle Grow wine bottle mix. Over fertilizing causes an increase in nitrogen which apparently ties up the calcium in the soil.
(2) inconsistent watering aka "moisture stress". I'm definitely guilty of this due to my weekends at the beach followed by fierce Monday morning waterings...

Since I didn't really have the supplies to pH test my fire escape tomato plant ... I attempted to remedy the solution by doing some pruning, water more consistently, and less Miracle Grow. It hasn't quite worked out for me... but that's okay. I'll try to beat BER next tomato season since I think the damage is done.
I am quite proud of these little nuggets despite their inability to correctly suck up calcium and fight off nitrogen.

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