How to share your gardening success without being creepy


We've got a tomato!

The first tomato arrives!

It’s considered poor form and downright creepy to put bags of zucchini in people’s driveways or on their front porch or next to their pool chairs while they sunbathe. Breaking into cars to leave boxes of strawberries is likely to get you sent up on felony auto theft charges.

So, what do you do if you’ve got a bumper crop of beefsteak tomato plants – and you don’t even like tomatoes all that much?

If all these tomato plant seedlings (also known as “vines”) decide to bloom and bear fruit (yes, they’re fruits!), I’ll be knee deep in more tomatoes than we could consume in a lifetime. My options are:

  1. Make 140 gallons of homemade spaghetti sauce (HAH)
  2. Can the tomatoes (fat chance)
  3. Pick off the blossoms before they “set” and hope that’s all it takes to stop tomatoes from growing
  4. Research what it’ll take to start a local farmer’s market, and sell off the tomatoes
  5. Pull off  paradigm shift and morph the patio into a Victory Garden (more on these later)
  6. Give the plants to someone who has kids and loves to garden but missed the window

I’m figuring that last option is the most likely. I’m not nearly domesticated enough to pull off #1 – and where would I put all that sauce?

If I opt for #2 and can them, I’d have to learn how to can stuff. Then I’d have to convince my dearly beloved to dig me a cold cellar and put up shelves and a weird hanging light that casts scary shadows in horror flicks. We’d then shlep all those canned tomatoes down into the cold cellar, where they’d sit for nine years, until the San Andreas Fault twitches and shatters 90% of the glass jars and drowns us in tomato goo. I’ll pass, thanks.

If you’re a nice neighbor and still have a stack of those Topsy Turvy Tomato planters like the ones on your patio, offer one or two to that neighbor who has kids, loves to garden, but doesn’t have the time to prep a patch to receive the vines.