Plants Bants: How To Care For Tomatoes

Let me tell you something that not many people know about me, my favourite smell in the world is not fresh baked bread, freshly brewed coffee or lavender (though these rate pretty highly) but the the smell of tomato plants. It is the ultimate smell of summer. My earliest memories of anyone growing their own food are those of my father growing tomatoes in our back garden at home. Each summer, he would plant a few tomatoes in pots in our garden and I loved to watch them progress throughout the summer. The smell of tomato plants reminds me of home, it is nostalgic and gorgeous and comforting.

Most people think you need a greenhouse or polytunnel in which to grow tomatoes, and while this does help, tomatoes will grow relatively well outdoors in Ireland, provided we have a good summer. Tomatoes are excellent container plants and as such are a good choice for the gardener with limited growing space.

Being July, it is too late now to sow tomatoes, however if you have started them, I have some tips for caring for your tomatoes during the summer months.

There are two main types of tomatoes, indeterminate (vine or cordon tomatoes) and determinate (bush tomatoes). The type of plant you are growing will determine how to care for it through the growing season.

Fun Fact: Tomatoes are a member of the Solanaceae family of plants, making them a cousin of the potato, aubergine, tobacco and deadly nightshade plants.

Sowing Tomatoes

I usually sow my tomatoes in late March or early April. (Confession: I didn’t sow any this year, my Dad is solely responsible for 2016’s tomato crop).

Sow tomatoes in individual 9cm pots using good quality seed compost, level and firm the compost before sowing and water them in well. A heated propagator comes in quite handy for germinating tomatoes in our climate but if you don’t have one, you can keep them on a windowsill above a radiator or in full sun. Covering your pots with cling film or plastic also gives the soil some warmth to help germinate your tomato seeds. Tomatoes usually germinate within seven days.

Leggy Plants

One common issue I’ve had with tomato seedlings is their tendancy to become “leggy”. Now, being a leggy individual myself, I’m fully aware of how much of an advantage this is as a human female, but leggy tomato plants are not so desirable. The stems grow really tall at the expense of fruit development. This is usually caused by the seedlings reaching toward the available light which is often in short supply in Spring. It helps to rotate the pots once a day or to move the pots to a brighter location, sometimes I have found this means moving the pot from the front of my house to the rear of my house as the sun moves across the sky during the day.

Tomato plants are very clever though, they will form new roots at the point where the stem hits the soil so if your seedlings do become leggy, plant them into a larger pot with the stem buried deeper so they can form new roots. Amazing!

Potting On

Tomatoes are another one of those plants that need to be potted on regularly in order to thrive. You’ll need to transfer your seedlings into larger pots after about three weeks so they have new nutrients and have space for their roots to spread out.

Tomatoes in Containers

I’m quite lucky as I have a polytunnel and I can just plant my tomatoes directly into the ground, but tomatoes make excellent container crops in smaller spaces. Tomatoes have a rather large root structure so need room to spread out so if you are growing in pots, use a large pot for each plant, you’ll want a pot of at least 12 inches.

You can also buy grow bags for tomatoes. These are like large bags of compost in which you can grow up to three tomato plants and are a really good choice for the novice tomato grower with limited space.

Keep your tomatoes in a warm spot with plenty of sun, a south facing garden or balcony is preferable.



Sometimes, we all need someone to lean on and tomatoes too need support as they grow. Tomatoes can grow quite tall and they become laden down with fruits in the summer which often causes the plant to topple over. Stake your tomatoes using bamboo and tie them in as they get larger

Watering and Feeding

Tomatoes need plenty of water in order to bulk up and prevent the tomatoes from splitting. I water my plants a little every day in summer months and give them a really good soaking once a week. Tomatoes need a regular water supply to prevent problems with the ripening fruit.

When growing in containers, you can use an upturned water bottle buried halfway in to the soil to direct water to the roots of your plants. There is no need to water the tops of the plants (this actually goes for most veggies) aim your water at the base of the plant.

Tomatoes grown in containers will probably need to be fed also, use an organic tomato feed once a week when the fruits are ripening, or better yet, make your own plant feed with nettles or comfrey.

Truss Issues

Tomato plants form what we call trusses. A truss is a group of smaller stems which produce flowers and fruit.

When growing vine tomatoes, pinch out the side shoots (these grow between the leaves and main stem). This allows the plant to put all its energy into the trusses, this producing more fruit.

It also helps to pinch out the main growing stem on tomatoes once they are bearing fruit, this will encourage the tomatoes to ripen and subsequent fruits formed above these trusses will often fail to ripen anyway.


Tomato Problems

Tomatoes are prone to a few diseases, much like their cousins, the potato, tomatoes can suffer from blight in poor conditions, keep an eye out for rotting leaves and brown patches on the fruit.

Blossom end rot is caused by calcium deficiency and is usually indicative of irregular watering. Tomatoes can also be prone to fruits splitting and cracking if they are not watered.

However, I have been super lucky with growing tomatoes and haven’t experienced any major problem with the exception of the the fruit splitting due to lack of water, bad Fiona!

Harvesting Tomatoes

Harvesting tomatoes is pretty easy, follow these steps:

  1. Pick tomatoes.
  2. Eat whole like apples.
  3. Pat self on back for job well done.
  4. Never buy tomatoes in a supermarket again.

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Tomato Varieties

This year I’m growing a variety called Moneymaker, a reliable cropper much loved by gardeners. Sungold are a spectacular cherry tomato and if you’d like to be a bit more adventurous, Tigerella are the tiger-striped, glam-rock icons of the veggie garden.

It’s unusually hot here in Dublin this week, the temperature outside today is 28 degrees celcius and my tomatoes are currently sweating it out in a closed polytunnel. Panic stations! I’ll have to swing by after work lest I end up with tomatoes that are as sunburnt as my thighs.

Tomato toned thighs, not a good look. Truss me. 


El Crapo!

The arrival of April is an exciting prospect for the vegetable gardener. The clock has moved one hour forward, the seemingly endless winter nights are truncated and the daylight hours stretch out their arms into a summer embrace. We uproot ourselves from the Netflix binges and shed our winter coats, we plant our feet firmly in our wellies and plunge our hands into the soil, for April heralds the hope of heavy Autumn harvests.

There’s an old proverb “Sweet April showers, do spring May flowers” and if that is truly the case, then I fully expect my plot to be glorious with colour in May. Here in Ireland, the position of the jet stream often causes heavy downpours during the month of April and the rain here in Dublin has been fierce, driving and relentless since the first day of the month. While I often welcome the April rains, I sincerely wish the sky would choose days when I’m stuck in work to open up instead of choosing to do so when I am free to garden all day. It seems that every day I plan to visit the allotment, it doesn’t just rain but it absolutely pours. Now, I’m no fair-weather gardener and have often been the only person on site in my wellies and rain gear, working on the plot, but it is simply impossible to plant anything outdoors when the weather is working against you.

Usually by now, I have a lot more planted on the plot, however, I am not one to panic. It is often the case that everything I plant in March dies anyway and I have to start all over again. Gardening is all about patience, about letting the climate make your decisions, about becoming dependant on the natural world so, while I am on the back foot, hedging my bets and biding my time, I have learned over the past few years that nature will invariably show me when it is time to plant.

Most years, I plant my onion sets in mid-March but this year I waited until the 10th of April, which happened to be a dry, if not windy day. I planted a full raised bed with Sturon onion sets, this variety thrived for me two years ago so I decided to give them another shot. There’s something very special for me about planting onion sets. Onions were my first truly successful crop on my plot in the first year and it always feels that garden season has truly begun when they go in. The torrential rain the following day may be problematic however and I’m sitting here, worried that my baby onions are now floating around in a muddy puddle.


Spot the rows of onion sets


This is when having a polytunnel becomes very beneficial. Despite the slow start to the season, I am able to sow seeds under cover. I love standing in my polytunnel while the rain drums on the plastic overhead, sowing seeds, drinking tea, blaring music and singing at the top of my lungs. This week, I’ve planted Aubergines, Courgettes, Chillies, Dwarf French Beans and Basil in the warmth and safety of the polytunnel. I’ve also sown some flowers including Nasturtium (no allotment is complete without these beautiful and edible flowers), Sweet Peas and Marigolds.

IMG_1526Last week, my folks returned from a trip to Amsterdam and brought me back something I’ve always wanted to grow (no, not that, I don’t particularly fancy being arrested*), they brought me home some black tulips. These have been kept in cold storage over winter and are a late blooming variety so I’m hoping they bloom in a matter of weeks. Black tulips aren’t truly black, but a very deep shade of purple and I have a bit of a thing for blue and purple flowers so I am very excited to see if they bloom for me. Watch this space.

* I am wildly disapointed that I can not realise my childhood dream of becoming a powerful criminal mastermind and organic-hippie-drug-cartel. Dublin’s very own El Chapo: El Crapo! 

Decked Out

Hello all. I know it has been quite a while since I updated the blog, apologies, it’s been a very busy couple of months in the garden. Mostly, I’ve been growing food instead of writing about growing food. I spend a lot of time writing here about my plot but nowhere near as much time as I should on the actual plot, so I put aside the blog for a spell and concentrated on getting the allotment to where I wanted it to be, and oh boy, it was worth it. Rest assured, I am back in full swing now so expect a return to normal blogging services.

It can be difficult to juggle a full time job and a full time allotment and I often get tired/lazy/disillusioned with the garden. It had often become a chore, a task, something I had to make an pained effort to do. In the past few months, my attitude has shifted. I now crave the garden, I feel the draw to it every day (though sadly I can not be there every day). I think I’ve done more on the plot in the past ten weeks than I did in the entirety of last year and it’s really beginning to show.



The plot has seen some pretty big changes lately, I’ve been doing a lot of the work I’d been putting off for the past 2 years. I’ve filled all my raised beds to the brim with healthy compost, the soil had been in very bad condition and it was a job that was essential this year if I wanted healthy crops, I also finally filled the last of the six large beds which had lain unused for over 18 months. I’ve filled all my pathways with bark mulch and repainted the beds. I’ve planted my onions, shallots, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, kale, broccoli, sorrel, rocket, peas, scallions, radishes, lettuces, cabbages, cauliflowers and more.  I have a polytunnel full of plants including tomatoes, chills, peppers, courgettes, herbs, loads of summer flowers and this years biggest challenge…..watermelons (more on these later in the week). I have new flower beds, new borders, new fruit bushes, new everything really. There is now very little wasted space on the plot.


I even built myself a small decking area. I have very heavy clay soil and it tends to flood, particularly in the area outside my polytunnel which has always been wasted space and I’ve been itching to do something with it. After a heavy rain, getting into my polytunnel was akin to wading through a swamp, something had to be done. So, feeling productive, I got my thinking cap on. Not to mention my sexy work gear: ripped shorts, raggy t-shirt, gardening gloves, knee high socks, polka dot wellies, you know, standard construction worker ensemble. I also had a scaldy brew on the go, a breakfast roll and a pack of Tayto; perfected my wolf whistle and made sure my crack was on display when I bent over, for the sake of continuity.

I needed to create something simple, affordable and rustic looking but that would provide good drainage too. I dug over the area, but leaving a small ridge on either side, creating a dip in the ground. I placed some scaffolding planks across this dip, held up at either end by the ridge and then slid a few planks lengthways underneath to brace it. This way, the decking is straight but has a bit of give in it when walked on and has a space for water to drain into underneath. Now, either I am an engineering mastermind or it’ll all fall apart but only time will tell. I make it all sound very easy and a well executed undertaking but believe me, it was not. Scaffolding planks are heavy, and awkward, and likely to cause injury. I got one splinter so large in the palm of my hand it could have been mistaken for stigmata.


The deck looks pretty snazzy though I do want to add a seating area next. I’ve been spending many an evening, sitting on the plot with my tea and some music on, just enjoying the peace of the garden.

I would venture so far as to say that to date, this is my most successful year on the plot. It seems that I have finally found my rhythm and I now love the garden more than ever. The only real issue this year has been the weather. It’s mid-May and today it is cold, raining and windy. Everything is a bit slower to get started this year (except for my spuds, I’m convinced they’d grow in cement) even my peas are struggling, which is a first. The garden isn’t as green as it usually would be in May so here’s hoping we get a few weeks of summer heat to give everything a boost.

I have absolutely loads to share over the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled. Until then, get outside and plant something. Give life to something, take care of it, watch it grow, there is nothing more rewarding in the world.

Fiona Grows Food on The Sod Show

This week was another exciting one here at Fiona Grows Food. On Friday, I was featured on a radio show, Ireland’s only gardening podcast to be exact, which airs on Dublin City Fm every Friday afternoon.

The Sod Show is a great little podcast which is well worth tuning into every week.

I recorded the interview last year, when I had just gotten my polytunnel and when I was still in my twenties, sob!

We mostly chatted about the allotment, manicures, muck and what it’s like to be a young(ish) allotment holder in Ireland. You can listen to it on the website here or on iTunes or Stitcher.

Between my newspaper feature and now the radio waves, the small screen is the next obvious step. Currently accepting all offers for television appearances, fees relatively reasonable, world domination imminent.

There’s been huge progress on the plot in the past few weeks, many, many blog posts incoming about same so keep an eye out. Until then, happy digging.

Putting The Community Back In Gardening

I am accident prone. Just putting it out there. I have a serious propensity for injuring myself in ridiculous and often embarrassing accidents. Never before though, has an injury annoyed me as much as this broken toe. Now I’ve broken toes before, and of course it’s painful and debilitating, and a little embarrassing. This one though, this broken toe has hurt me to the bone (sigh). As a result of limping around for the past three weeks, I’ve been unable to get out to my allotment at all. I’ve missed glorious sunny days and a few weeks worth of planting and weeding. Worst of all though, my broken toe has killed EVERYTHING in my polytunnel. Every last little seedling, every tomato plant, every cucumber, every delicious pumpkin and aubergine. It’s all dead. Gone.

Yesterday, I took a trip (a few trips actually, due to the limping) out to the plot, braced for whatever disaster lay ahead of me. When I arrived, the plot was weedy. Very weedy. There were tall weeds where three weeks ago, no weeds resided. So I, of course, got to weeding. I spent a good three hours hopping around the garden, Joe the robin in tow (toe?) pulling weeds and tidying my beds up.

Now, I knew my polytunnel was in a bad way but I was afraid to go inside. It was as if the longer I put it off, the less likely I would be to cry. Though my tears would have been significantly better irrigation than the scant water my plants had gotten over the past few weeks. Eventually though, I had to venture in. Filled with trepidation, I hopped inside and surveyed the damage that a three week drought in summer could do to my plants.

A lot is the answer. It could do a lot of damage. My beautiful tomato plants had all but withered to a crisp, my cucumbers were all limp and yellow and everything else had simply vanished.


You can see here how empty the polytunnel looks

I resigned myself to the fact that it was my own fault and decided to just suck it up and chalk it down to experience. I disposed of the dead plants  – always a horrible task – and got planting again. Then, something truly wonderful happened, one of my friends on site, on hearing of my plight, brought me a gift of a beautiful healthy tomato plants and a cucumber plant. Now, this is what I truly love about gardening, particularly community gardening. It’s just that, a community. Gardeners truly are the most generous, friendliest people in the world. Never before I started my allotment, had I experienced such community spirit. I worry sometimes that communities are dead, that the only ones left are those we like on Facebook or Twitter, that our only new friendships are formed through the keys on a laptop or a smartphone. I worry because every hour of every day I see people, friends, lovers, families, sitting together but not really being together.

I even experience it myself most days. Dinner with friends and their phones, cinema with friends and their phones, commutes with strangers and their phones. Next time you’re at a bus stop or train station, look around. How many other people are doing the same? Very few I’d imagine.

When I go to my allotment, people talk to me. Really talk to me. They tell me their stories, they ask me mine. They drink tea with me and swap seeds with me. They ask me for help or offer the same. Nowhere else in my life do I experience this anymore.

I realised that other people are the threads which hold the tapestry of our lives together, which help us make sense of our world, and by cutting ourselves off, we are sure to unravel.

I do believe that community gardens are the way forward.  They are about people of all walks of life, coming together to grow. To grow food, to grow plants, to grow their understanding of the world around them, the grow their knowledge, and that of their children. To grow.

Last summer, I had a bit of a rough time. To be completely honest, I was very depressed. Now, mental health issues are not something we like to talk about, hear about or even read about, but there they are anyway and there it was, every day for months. I was suffering with insomnia, I couldn’t eat, I lost over three stone in as many months. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, I struggled to even leave my house. Here is what saved me: a community garden. Not mine, mind you, but a beautiful walled garden in a local park. St Anne’s Allotment Gardens is the site on which my parents have their beautiful plot and each year they hold an open day to coincide with the annual rose festival which runs in the park. I was dragged along to this by my parents when I was at my lowest point.


Selling veggies with the St Annes allotmenteers

On arrival, I spoke to seven people in twenty minutes who I had never even met before and felt like I knew every single one of them. Within an hour, I was helping to sell plot grown veggies on a market stall, chatting and bartering with everyone passing by. An hour after that, I was enthralled by a beekeeper who opened a hive to let me photograph the queen. And as the day cooled down and the crowds dispersed, I sat with a group of 30 or so gardeners, eating delicious bbq food and salads from their plots while enjoying a cold beer and learning about how they each garden and what it means to them. And that day helped saved me, that community. I realised that other people are the threads which hold the tapestry of our lives together, which help us make sense of our world, and by cutting ourselves off, we are sure to unravel.

Community gardening at it's tastiest

Community gardening at it’s tastiest

And, I do believe, we all need gardens. Some may not want them, or even like them, but we need them if we are to survive. That is a fact. My reasoning is this: we were born to survive. To procreate and to provide sustenance for ourselves and our loved ones. And I believe the satisfaction of gardening harks back to the hunter gatherer sentiment in us, we need to know how to hunt, how to gather. We need to know how to grow our own food. I believe it satisfies in us, our basic, primal instincts.

So, in effect, community gardening encompasses two of our most basic needs as human beings. I am never really as happy as I am when I’m out on the plot, doing my own thing, growing food, being an important contributor to the planet in my own small way. Never as happy as when somebody approaches me for a chat about my plot, or theirs, or about how to grow a certain plant. Or when somebody knows I’ve suffered a setback and gives me two beautiful plants to help get me back on track. And how something that was probably so insignificant to them, was very significant to me and gave me hope that all was not lost.


And I know my plot will be ok, it’s already getting back on track, I’ve dealt with most of the weeds, there’s a mountain of produce growing already and it is still fairly early in the season. Currently I have Rhubarb, Kale, Spinach, Rocket, Pak Choi, Rapsberries, Blueberries, Artichokes, Asparagus, Blackberries, Redcurrants, Beetroot, Baby Carrots, Broad Beans, Dwarf French Beans, Climbing French Beans, Pumpkins, Squash, Courgettes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Leeks, Garlic and that’s not to mention all my herbs and flowers and the many crops I still have to plant this year. So, broken toe or not, I’m kicking last year in the arse in terms of what I’m growing.

Some greenery on the plot for the first time in a long time


Amazing to think this will be dinner in a few weeks

So, to sum it up, If I could give you one piece of solid advice about your short life in this world, get out there and get yourself involved in a community garden, it’ll change everything, I promise.

Thank you to Pat for the wonderful plants, thank you to all my fellow plot holders for the chats and thank you to you for reading this so my friends don’t have to listen to me harping on about my garden again. If I’m not careful, one of these days they’ll plant me in it.

Planting and Dancing

Early on Saturday morning, I stood in my polytunnel in a t shirt, it was 30 degrees celsius and it felt like gardening in the height of summer. Outside it was pouring rain, there were strong winds and it was a chilly 3 degrees.

I have spent just under two years gardening outdoors, victim to the elements. I always swore I wasn’t going to get a polytunnel, partly because of the price and partly because of the work involved. It means that during the summer months, I’ll have to get out to the plot at least 3-4 times a week to water my crops which is a task when you’re working full time, live miles away from your plot and don’t drive. However, on a whim a few weeks ago, I decided to get myself a polytunnel, I’m a terrible woman for expensive, impulse purchases. This one is paying off already though. Not only was I able to stand in there on a freezing Saturday in March, planting and dancing (yes, I dance in my polytunnel, I need to do it somewhere you know), I can now attempt to grow crops that I couldn’t even consider trying in the past.

The polytunnel will likely be my biggest project this year, I need to figure out the layout and install some raised beds. To start, I got myself a staging table for planting and for my seedlings etc. As such, I now have a proper potting bench, it was something I sorely needed on the plot. It’s my equivalent of a desk.

My new workstation

My new workstation

On Saturday, I got some serious planting started. I peeled off my hoodie, stuck on my iPod (for the dancing), poured myself a coffee from my flask and got my hands dirty. I planted celery, celeriac, cucumbers, basil (sweet and red basil), corriander and some sunflowers. These, along with my already planted tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and chillies means I have a good start on my polytunnel crops now.


Planting season 2014 commences

I also got my red and white onions planted outside. The cold windy weather was a bit of a shock to my system after the balmy confines of the polytunnel. I love planting onions, for me, it’s the herald of a new gardening season. Within about two weeks, I’ll hopefully have lots of crops planted in my raised beds, I hate when they’re all bare.


Onions planted and protected

My rhubarb is once again looking to be the king of my plot, there’s loads of it already and I reckon I’ll be picking some next weekend. In fact, I’m a little scared, last year it was monstrous, I had so much rhubarb that I thought I’d crumble (see what I did there?) under the pressure to use it all. Which is a good complaint to have I suppose.




The plot is in pretty good shape at the moment. She needs a bit of TLC though. I need to fix my fencing, build a gate, put up my birdhouse, plant lots of flowers, touch up the paint work and build myself a patio/seating area in addition to sorting out the polytunnel. My work here is never done.

Next weekend, I have aspirations to spend the whole weekend on the plot, it’s amazing how much you can get done in an eight hour gardening frenzy, so hopefully over three days I can get loads done. I even have an adorable portable gas stove now, to cook myself some lunch, courtesy of my parents. Best birthday present ever!


I’m a proper allotmenteer now, little stove for my shed and everything

The New Arrival

This week was a very exciting one on the allotment. In what is probably the biggest development since I built my beds, I finally caved and invested in a polytunnel. At 6ft by 13ft, it’s a good size for my plot, narrow, long and tall (kind of like myself, we’re a perfect match).


Having being stuck in work when it arrived, I was itching to go out on Saturday to see it, but Saturday arrived with a storm. I had to forego the chance to visit and spent the day hiding
indoors playing Xbox. Sunday, however, Sunday was glorious. Sun beaming, not a cloud in the sky, cold but no wind, perfect gardening weather. I hauled ass out to the plot, best friend Kat in tow (she just so happens to be a botanist, fancy). Flask of coffee made by the daddy. Bliss.


I squealed when I saw my polytunnel, it was majestic. We stood there looking at it for a good ten minutes, marvelling at it before getting to work. We needed to level out the ground before doing anything else, so we dug the soil inside the tunnel (sweaty work, hot stuff). Took us little or no time, then I raked the soil over, I’m a dab hand with a rake now, I’m a regular old rakey master (I’d apologise for that pun but I have no shame).

Kat has some serious digging skills, we got the rest of the plot dug in under an hour. The ground in that dreaded messy corner was very uneven, so we sorted it out, now it’s ready for me to build my little patio area.


Having had a break, ie. Kat the botanist ripped apart some flowers to have a look at them and I had a chat with Joe the robin, who has become like my pet now (Joe is short for Joseph Gordon Levitt, and yes, I am a super nerd). We decided to tackle the shed, which was an absolute disaster after the winter, everything was just flung in on the floor, messy. We pulled everything out, swept the floor, I found about 3 quid in change and a load of seeds I forgot I had. Echinacea, comfrey, evening primrose and about four different types of broad beans, which I’ve never grown so I’ve no idea why I have so many. Guess I’ll have to grow them now this year. Kat had a great time hammering up my new coat hook, which I bought in Tiger, otherwise known as the best shop in the universe.


I dragged my pallet shelving I made last October into the shed, why I hadn’t thought to do this before is beyond me. I have a christmas tree trunk from last year which I use to hang my hand tools, I have good ideas sometimes, sometimes. I plan to build a bench with storage in it and make a hook for my tools. I also have about fifty adorable pictures etc to hang up and my birdhouse.


This week is the first week of spring, so I guess you could call it the spring clean, but we really did get the place seriously tidied up. It’s nearly time to get planting. The polytunnel will be a serious advantage when it comes to propagating this year. It will extend my gardening season by months, it’ll give me the chance to grow tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and a plethora of crops I can’t currently grow in our temperate climate. I could already feel the difference in heat in there yesterday and it hasn’t even had time to heat up yet, I can only imagine the heat in there during the summer.

I’ve gotten my gardening bug back this year, I’m obsessed. Last year was my lean year, the fallow one. This year I’m raring to go. This week I’ll be planting my first seeds. I’m beyond excited.