Months have gone by. Those small pepper and tomato plants have grown. Now they are big and the container bounty is ripening.
As I filled the containers, they looked so large. It took a lot of dirt to fill one. The plants were so small. So four pepper plants went into each one.
The surrounding wire is three feet tall. Each circle is staked against the wind that never came this year. Instead the plants are taller than the wire and pushing against it.
One tomato plant fills one container. When I walk out to milk or start backing out of the driveway, I see it. Often the leaves are just barely starting to hang in that “give me water” manner. I stop and oblige even though I’m positive I just watered it the day before. This too is container bounty as it sags under numerous clusters of tomatoes. Maybe all those tomatoes make the plant need more water.
Even four pepper plants don’t need as much water as the tomato plant. The newspaper and mulch keep the thirsty weeds from moving in. The rain comes by to help and the mulch holds the moisture in.
Like the garden peppers and tomatoes, the container fruit takes its time ripening. This waiting drives me mad.
One consolation is the lack of tomato and pepper attackers around the house. The container bounty has no bites, is not torn down and tossed in the dirt.
The garden plants aren’t so lucky. The woodchuck still eludes capture, still digs up plants and mulch. Raccoons sample the tomatoes, find they are too green to be palatable and toss them aside. The young raccoons are captured and go elsewhere. The adults have learned to open the trap and escape.
Electric fence is my next option, but requires a pathway cleared through tall grass and other weeds. It is slow going in the heat.
In the meantime I admire the container bounty around the house. A single tomato ripened to be savored at dinner. Another has blushed. Three pepper plants have ripened fruit.
A freezer full of summer’s container bounty may yet happen.