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‘Only two things that money can’t buy. That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.’

October 10, 2011

I didn’t care one way or another about gardening until I moved into my first home and considered landscaping alternatives. I knew I didn’t want to waste water. I knew I didn’t want to use a lot of chemical fertilizer. And I knew I didn’t want to spend untold hours dealing with the horrors of  double-digging in the hot sun and other labor-intensive gardening techniques.

First, I learned that if you select plants that are native to your area, your garden will thrive with less work, less water and fewer chemicals.

Second, I discovered heirloom, or heritage, plants. They aren’t natives, but they are easy to grow. Heirloom plants, such as those big-ole rose bushes that smelled so good and bloomed all summer in your grandmother’s backyard, tend to be low maintenance.

Third, I decided to grow perennials, not annuals — especially perennial fruits and vegetables. (If you have never gardened, “perennial” plants come back year after year without replanting, while “annuals” are replanted.)

So I don’t grow tomatoes. However, if you just have to grow some tomatoes, I understand. (Remember the lyrics to the old Guy Clark song: “Only two things that money can’t buy, that’s true love and home-grown tomatoes”?) But if I grew tomatoes, I think that I would grow heirloom tomatoes (more flavor) in pots (less labor-intensive).I grow blueberries and asparagus instead, and I’ve also grown strawberries. Edible or not edible, I think  perennials are the way to go.

The rest of my gardening posts will include pictures of and information about plants I have grown. (Please note that these plants were grown or are being grown in the southeastern U.S.)

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